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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 July 17, 2019

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                      The Neurology of Ownership

                      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                      More About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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