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Get The Most Out of Your iPod

Get The Most Out of Your iPod

(Okay, any portable media device will do, but with the market share of such devices being the Apple iPod, I can get away with that title, right?)

The first thing most people do when presented with a portable media device (besides saying Thank You) is look for ways to add music to it. Music is great, and it’s a wonderful thing to throw in there, but if you’re looking to get more done, and looking for some other uses, try these:

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  • Business Card– Most of these devices now allow you to carry along files. Try adding an electronic business card, either the typical formats like vCard or an Outlook export, but also a flat text file with your name as the filename. This text file should include all the info you might want to pass someone that you meet out and about. That way, if you have no other means to share this information, it will exist on the portable media device that you might never forget at home. Ditto your resume (or CV) in .pdf format.
  • Slideshow– Do you have a presentation, a 30 second elevator pitch for your new and growing startup? Put it on your portable device as a series of JPG files. That way, even if the screen is 1.5 inches, you’ve got SOMETHING to show people your concept in visual form.
  • Audio Books– The Apple iTunes store is only one outlet, but there are plenty of Audiobook sites that can provide books in downloadable MP3 format. Listening to audio books throughout the day and during your commute will keep you up to date when you can’t afford the time to sit down and read the book in question. And sometimes, even if you’re reading the print book, the audio format can give your mind a new angle on the same material. Audio books usually cost a little less than the actual print book (but then I can’t mention libraries as a way to shift that content onto your player).
  • Podcasts – Now, this is where the fun is. Podcasts are free. There are lots of great programs out there that can help enrich your interests in a particular business, connect you with folks who practice the same crafts as you (There are something like 80 beer podcasts, for instance), and with people who share your passions. They’re fairly easy to find via podcast directories (Yahoo! has one, Podcast Alley, the list is endless). Adding podcasts to your iPod is a great way to boost the value of using your portable media player for more than just tunes.
  • Personal Reminders– Got a minute. Record your to-do list into Audacity, and burn an mp3 of it onto your player. You can even name the file nag.mp3 if you want. But it’s helpful. Burn a private RSS through FeedBurner.com and subscribe to it. You could keep your agendas on a not-publicized blog and really have an interesting record of your days in the future.
  • Business Communication– Are you a marketer or some other kind of promotions specialist? Are you a manager of a distributed team? Recording a podcast for your contacts to subscribe to gives you a media alternative to email that can be easily integrated into someone’s daily listening habits. If your contacts need up-to-the-minute information, hit them with a daily summary. If your team needs reminders as to what’s on your mind and what’s important, why not record a “Sonja’s Things to Remember” post every Monday for them to download (and later grumble about)?

I read about some venture capitalists who are now requiring people to submit their business plans in audio podcast format. They can then take the plans on a walk in the park, our to the gym to work out, and not have to sit in a static place reading about yet another great tagging / social / web2.0 site with a name that could either be a candy or a Yugi-oh character.

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I’ve seen hacks for throwing maps on your iPod, as well as some hacks involving throwing a full-fledged Linux OS on there. These could be useful, too, depending on what other apps you add. There are plenty of ways to use this robust platform for more than just playing music. And if you buy a video device, all the more angles open up. What are your thoughts and hacks? How would you add to this concept?

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-Chris Brogan records podcasts and other creative content at GrasshopperFactory.com

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Last Updated on July 27, 2020

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

Here’s How to Create a To-Do List that Super Boosts Your Productivity.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

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These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

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You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks

9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

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When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

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When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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