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10 Ways Your Phone Can Make You More Productive At Work

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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                      Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                      11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                      11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                      Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                      You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                      But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                      To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                      It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                      “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                      The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                      In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                      Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                      1. Start Small

                      The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                      Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                      Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                      Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                      Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                      Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                      It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                      Do less today to do more in a year.

                      2. Stay Small

                      There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                      But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                      If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                      When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                      I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                      Why?

                      Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                      The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                      Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                      3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                      No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                      There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                      What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                      Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                      This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                      This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                      4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                      When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                      There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                      Peter Drucker said,

                      “What you track is what you do.”

                      So track it to do it — it really helps.

                      But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                      5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                      Peter Drucker also said,

                      “What you measure is what you improve.”

                      So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                      For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                      For writing, it’s 500 words.
                      For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                      For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                      Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                      6. All Days Make a Difference

                      Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                      Will two? They won’t.

                      Will three? They won’t.

                      Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                      What happened? Which one made you fit?

                      The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                      No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                      7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                      Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                      But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                      What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                      It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                      The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                      It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                      It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                      8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                      Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                      Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                      When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                      The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                      Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                      9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                      The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                      Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                      You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                      But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                      So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                      If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                      This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                      The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                      Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                      10. Punish Yourself

                      Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                      I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                      It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                      You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                      No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                      The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                      But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                      11. Reward Yourself

                      When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                      Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                      The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                      After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                      If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                      Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                      If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                      In the End, It Matters

                      What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                      When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                      And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                      “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                      Keep going.

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                      More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                      [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                      [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                      [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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