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10 Ways Your Phone Can Make You More Productive At Work

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10 Ways Your Phone Can Make You More Productive At Work

Technology has become everybody’s short cut when doing everything from staying on top of emails to making lists, and even in order to save things while having access to them on the go, wherever you are! This list will help you become more productive at work with just a couple of apps and sites for all you tech-savvy (and even the not-so-tech-savvy) iThing owners out there!

Stay on task!

1. myMail

mymail

    Keep track of your emails with myMail. This app allows you to have multiple mailboxes in one little place, which means you never have to miss an important email ever again. myMail allows you to create an @MY.COM address that is 10 times bigger than Gmail, meaning you could store up to 150 gigabytes of data. In addition, it’s available for all Apple iOS and Android smartphones, which means nobody’s left out.

    2. Time Planner

      Time Planner can help you set tasks of all sorts, from home things to work things to studying and resting: everything goes in the planner. This app reminds you of activities with a specific time and location, and you can complete the details by adding your own time frames to set a limit on the time you should be spending on a task. This will help you get a move on and ultimately maximize your productivity by the end of the day. What’s super awesome about this too is the fact that it creates pie charts to show you just how much time you’re spending on which tasks daily, weekly and monthly! This app can be found on the App Store.

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      3. Fantastical 2

        The app that seems to have it all would be Fantastical 2. This app can help you manage events clearly, while displaying the events with attached locations on a map for extreme convenience. It allows you to call, email or message invitees very quickly, and even sends birthday wishes via text, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and the good old traditional email. The Day Ticker allows you to view the events for the day, helping you stay on track, and the app is also available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. This app can also be found on the App store.

        Let out your distractions

        1. Any.do

          Sometimes the best way to procrastinate work that needs to be done is to make lists about the work that needs to be done. So why not let out your distractions on Any.do. With a beautiful, simple layout you can keep clear goals and make sure you get them done. With one quick step you’ve got yourself an account and you can begin typing up your tasks, or even using your microphone to record things even faster. Any.do is available on Android, iPhone and even on Chrome and Safari — which means that your lists go everywhere with you, so make no excuses!

          2. Momento

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            With Momento you can take a time out from all the work you have to do and just write. You can record moments in the form of text entries, photos or feeds — even integrating your tweets in there while you’re at it. By emptying out your thoughts about things that are keeping you from being completely focused, you are giving yourself more empty processing space in your brain to easily tackle all the new tasks at hand!

            Good vibes

            1. SimplyNoise

            simply noise

              Ever have a really important essay or text piece that you have to write by a particular deadline and you just can’t seem to get yourself in the zone for it? Well surprisingly, noise is your remedy. SimplyNoise allows you to play White Noise, Pink Noise and Brown Noise, which help you drown out every other noise around you and help you concentrate solely on the words you are thinking. This is only 99 cents on the App Store or from Google Play — but if you’d like to save yourself those cents then just click here and get writing.

              2. 8tracks

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              8tracks Music Playlists

                8tracks is the queen of all playlist sites — all you have to do is get the app (which is free) or go to the site, click the explore tab, type in “work” or “study” or any tag you feel is appropriate for the type of music that your brain enjoys when getting work done, and you’re all set!

                Note-taking to be more productive

                1. OneNote

                OneNote

                  OneNote is a brilliant way to take notes and gather all your ideas in notebooks, all stored online with a little help from OneDrive. This means you never lose a note and you can move your notes around from place to place as it’s available on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android. Something also quite special about this app is you can use your finger, mouse or stylus to draw and take notes, which can sometimes be a lot more efficient than typing things up.

                  2. Evernote

                  evernote

                    Evernote has got to be the most popular app when it comes to note-taking, but it has certainly earned its popularity. This app helps you remember things you want to remember, save favorite pages, carry out better research, collaborate effectively with friends and colleagues and even plan your next trip. Having everything in one place that keeps syncing with all your other devices and computers helps keep everything accessible. This one’s definitely a must-have.

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                    3. Pocket

                    pocket

                      Ever found something you wanted to come back to later but just didn’t know where to save it? Do you then send yourself subjectless emails that are never to be found again? Well Pocket will help you with that. This app lets you put anything into Pocket and it saves directly from your browser or Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite. Pocket’s available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Kobo and of course, your browser.

                      With all these apps in hand, there is no better way to let your phone help you be more productive than to just get right to work. Taking the most advantage of your phone’s capabilities and having those apps ready for whenever duty calls is bound to help keep you efficient! Stay productive!

                      Featured photo credit: Maximizing Productivity via cdn-media-1.lifehack.org

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                      1 15 Strategies for an Effective To-Do List 2 How to Organize Your Tasks With Weekly To-Do Lists 3 How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness 4 Are You Addicted to Productivity? 5 Is Avoiding Difficult Tasks And Doing Easy Tasks First Less Productive?

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                      Last Updated on October 28, 2021

                      15 Strategies for an Effective To-Do List

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                      15 Strategies for an Effective To-Do List

                      One of the age-old productivity techniques around is the classic and effective to-do list, and for good reason. It’s one of the most productive ways for you and everyone else to get anything done. Whether it’s a mental list or something that you are writing down, a to-do list is an essential productivity tool.

                      At the same time, it is one of the most confusing productivity tools around. Many people discredit this for various reasons and don’t believe that a to-do list is any good. But my argument is that maybe you and other people aren’t making an effective to-do list, so here we will go over how to get one done right.

                      Why Is a To-Do List Important?

                      Before jumping into strategies to make an effective to-do list, it’s worth knowing why you should bother making one. The first important point is that many people have been making to-do lists all wrong.

                      Two of the most common mistakes are:

                      • People use lists as a measurement of whether they are productive or not.
                      • They put too many items on the list.

                      It’s understandable why you or other people do this, though. A to-do list is a productivity tool, so it makes sense to pile on tasks. However, the brain doesn’t work that way. If you have a lot of tasks on your list, it feels like torture as the list never ends.

                      At first, it can feel nice that you always have something to do, but keep in mind that you only have so much time in a day. It’s important that you place more value in quality work rather than sheer quantity.

                      On that same note, if you are someone who has a tendency to seek validation, a to-do list can be tough. There will be days where you won’t get everything done due to life events. This creates unnecessary pressure and sends you into a stress whirlwind.

                      When you build an effective to-do list, the main goal of these lists is to provide clarity and focus. If you’ve been doing them wrong, you may have noticed that you are focusing in on a task on your to do list and getting it done.

                      This may be overshadowed by the multiple items on your list, but you are focusing on a task during a given time. You really see this in action when you consider having a shorter to-do list, though.

                      I understand that a to-do list isn’t for every single person, but this focus is helpful to people when starting out. You’re still not certain about your goals or the path that you want to take. You may also struggle to determine the next step to work towards.

                      A to-do list is a guide you can refer back to it whenever you need it. Furthermore, the techniques that I’ll be mentioning below will make to-do lists more effective for you.

                      15 Strategies for an Effective To-Do List

                      So what should be on a to-do list? What is the best to-do list system?

                      You’ll begin to see how powerful a to-do list is when you consider the various strategies you can incorporate in one. This is your to-do list, so pick from the strategies below to find what suits you. If you’re not certain, don’t be afraid to experiment and mishmash several combinations.

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                      Remember that the road to success is one with many branching paths, so the methods you use are your choice.

                      1. Break the List Into Two Parts

                      The first strategy is to break a list into two parts. These two parts are called dailies and to do’s.

                      Dailies are the everyday tasks that you want to develop more. For example, if you want to make a habit out of exercising in the morning, a daily task could be following a 15-minute workout routine or going for an hour-long walk.

                      Your to do’s are non-daily tasks that you need to be getting done at some point. Maybe you need to prepare a report at work or make a presentation. You can put that into your to do column.

                      This is an effective strategy because it saves all the clutter that most people gravitate towards. As mentioned before, people stuff their lists, and a lot of it is usually tasks they you would do anyway, like going grocery shopping or dropping the kids off at a friend’s place.

                      2. Put a Limit on Items

                      If you find breaking your list into two parts too much, I’ll suggest brevity to be a virtue when making these lists. You can set any number of items, but the key is that you do have a set limit in mind. Some people have no more than seven while others go as low as three. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

                      The idea behind this is to narrow in on the most important tasks that you need to accomplish that day. Of course, there are other things that you’ll be doing during the day, and that’s fine, but you want to prioritize the items that on your to do list before the day is done.

                      3. Use Checklists for Complex Tasks

                      If you’re already making narrow lists but are putting in tougher tasks, my suggestion is to break that task down. Whether it’s full-on steps you need to take or jotting down important details that need to be present is up to you.

                      Either way, this allows you to ensure that you’re getting everything done the proper way and that you’re not missing any key details or steps.

                      4. Tackle MITs First

                      MIT is the “most important task.” Another way to look at this is to tackle the largest and most intimidating task first[1]. Why you want to do this goes back to how our brain works.

                      You may feel compelled to do the easier tasks first before getting to the bigger task, but the problem is that these tasks—even the easy ones—drain your energy. Furthermore, if you have a really big task to complete, chances are that’s going to be on your mind over the course of the day. That means you’re spending more energy just thinking about it.

                      All of that wouldn’t be a problem if that big intimidating task was dealt with first thing in the morning.

                      5. Create a “Done” List

                      Another interesting approach to consider is to have a “done” list. This is a list of the tasks that you’ve completed from your to-do list. Many people find it satisfying to merely cross an item off their list and be done with it, but depending on what you’re putting on those lists, a done list could be inspiring.

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                      Imagine if you are someone who places above-average difficult tasks on your to-do lists, activities that require an hour or two to complete properly. This can inspire you to do more if, after a day of working, you notice just how much you accomplished over the course of the day via this list.

                      6. Make Your List Easy to Spot

                      From colorful paper to posting it in an obvious spot, you want your list to be in a place where you can spot it easily. Mind you, you don’t need to have this list in front of you all the time as it could create unnecessary stress. But setting it to one side is a nice idea—a glance to the side and you know exactly what needs to get done.

                      7. Add Gaming Elements to It

                      If pen and paper isn’t your thing when making to-do lists, there are several apps that can guide you along as well. The beauty of to -do list apps is that there is more room for creativity, and some of the developers incorporate games into them.

                      For example, Todoist has an achievement system where individuals earn badges as they complete more tasks. There’s also Bounty Tasker, which makes you feel like your tasks are side quests in a video game.

                      8. Give Yourself Deadlines

                      Work expands to fill time allotted.

                      It’s an old philosophy that still rings true with how we are productive. For example, say you’re assigned to write a report, and you’re given a week to do it. You’ll likely work on it steadily throughout the week. Or if you’re a procrastinator, you’ll put it off until the night before and finish it.

                      But what if you’re given that same task and only allotted an hour to complete it? You’ll likely get the report done, but you’ll prioritize the main, important points and highlight those rather than fill it with unnecessary fluff.

                      The whole point of this is that with your goals and the items on your to-do list, you want to have deadlines. When it comes to to-do lists, my suggestion is to give yourself a day to complete the tasks there. This is enough pressure and incentive for you to work hard on them.

                      9. Add Tasks When They’re Fresh

                      Another strategy is to assign yourself tasks even when you are working on something else. Keep in mind it’s not something you have to do right now, but this can help with people who are struggling to think about what to focus on next.

                      This is along the same lines as when you hear something interesting and you write it down. It’s a wise thing to do as it saves you the bother of having to dwell on that idea rather than focusing on the task at hand. It also saves you from having to recall what the task is if you’re the type to write up the next day’s to-do list at the end of the day.

                      10. Be Comfortable With Revising Your To-Do List

                      Depending on your overall mindset, another good strategy is to look at your to-do list and make changes to it. If you’re practicing the previous strategy, there may be a possibility that your to-do list is getting lengthy and you’re setting unrealistic expectations that you can finish it all.

                      By giving yourself the opportunity to revise your to-do list, your allowing yourself to spread out your tasks rather than have them clumped up. This helps your mindset as you’re not overwhelmed by the list.

                      11. Write Tasks, Not Goals

                      You should have separate lists for your tasks and your goals. The idea is to not put goals on your task list at all.

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                      While tasks can help you lead to your goals, goals are larger desires and not something that you can achieve over the course of the day. For example, “learn to speak French” is a goal; however, you can break that into a task by saying “read French content for 15 minutes” or “watch a movie in French.”

                      This also extends to objectives, too. You can see these as milestones. Going back to the example of speaking French, an objective can be, “discuss my favorite foods with someone in French.” It’s the desired outcome that you’re looking for from your practice.

                      12. Keep To-Do Lists Brief

                      Here, brief means scannable in that you can quickly look over at the list and know what needs to get done. How you can do this is by focusing on the keywords of specific tasks and not dragging them out. For example, say your garage is a mess and you want to clean it up. Instead of writing a lengthy sentence, keep it short and write something like “clean garage for 30 min.” or simply “clean garage.”

                      With this strategy, you’re spending less time writing the task down when making the to-do list. Furthermore, you’re relying on trigger words to get your mind to recall specific details for that task.

                      13. Have Multiple Lists

                      As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to have separate lists for various things, like having a separate list for goals, objectives, daily tasks, and to-do’s. Another way you can look at it is to have a system where you are consulting from three lists.

                      These lists are:

                      A Master List

                      This is where any of your long-term goals are, things like moving to a new house, getting out of debt, or building a business. These are things that will take a year or more to accomplish.

                      A Weekly Project List

                      These are things that you want to accomplish by the end of the week. These are things that will move the needle slowly towards some of the items on your master list. From the previous example, these could be doing research on getting a business loan, house hunting, or setting up a savings account.

                      A High-Impact List

                      Lastly, these are tasks that need to be accomplished today. Whether they are related to the previous two lists or not doesn’t matter. This is where high priority tasks are placed. Examples can be calling specific people or working on a project or a report that’s due soon.

                      By having these lists in place, you’ll be referring often to the weekly project list and the high-impact list and determining whether a weekly task should be moved to that list.

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                      As you do that, you’ll begin to notice how much your daily life has an impact on those goals that are written on that master list. That can be inspiring since what you are doing is actively bringing you closer to your goals.

                      14. Don’t Ramp up Difficulty Until You’re Ready

                      Some of the strategies mentioned can seem easy on the surface, but they require a lot of mental fortitude. Motivation is an unusual thing, and our brains are wired to process a certain way. If you’re looking for genuine change and something that sticks, the best principle is to keep things simple and easy at first.

                      It may be a drag, but you don’t often realize how those baby steps can play a crucial role in you being able to start running and chasing your dreams. Don’t be ashamed if you have to start off with simple tasks for yourself. Even going back to daily tasks that you do anyway like showering, doing the laundry or shopping for food is a good way to start.

                      Putting those items on the list at first makes you feel like you’ve had a productive day. From there, you can challenge yourself with more difficult tasks. Incorporate an exercise routine or spend a half-hour on a task that means something to you.

                      The idea is to ease yourself into a routine so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

                      15. Measure Your Time

                      The last strategy that can help you is to measure your time. How long does it take you to finish a specific task? You don’t need to go for specifics, but make a point of timing yourself over the course of a week and get the average time spent on that task.

                      Why is this important? This information can be broken down in two ways.

                      The first way is to use it as a marker to boost efficiency. Depending on the task, you can find new ways to achieve the same results in a shorter time.

                      It also allows you to know what you can do in a given day. If you know that it takes you an hour or so to go through your entire morning routine, you’ll be more conscious about how you move through that routine.

                      Furthermore, if you know what tasks you’ll be doing the next day, you can better manage your time since you know roughly how much time it’ll take to get everything done.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Building an effective to-do list is not as easy as it seems.

                      There are all kinds of unique strategies to try out, some more challenging that others. However, if you are motivated to use this productivity tool to make your life easier, then it will get easier.

                      All that you need to do is keep putting effort and experiment and reevaluate when necessary. So get started with your to-do lists today.

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                      More Tips on Using an Effective To-Do List

                      Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production via unsplash.com

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