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3 New Tools That Will Make You A Productivity Ninja & Finally Help You Get Your Life Organized In 2014

3 New Tools That Will Make You A Productivity Ninja & Finally Help You Get Your Life Organized In 2014

It seems there’s a never-ending list of productivity tools available on the Internet. Heck, we’ve got an entire section on Lifehack dedicated to them. That said, every once in a while, there are a few apps that rise above the rest.

Here are 3 apps that will help be more productive and finally help you get your life organized whether you’re blogging, working or just trying to get more stuff done.

Get ready—we’ve got a to-do list, a calendar app and a new dashboard for your chrome browser.

1. Any.Do

There’s a billion to-do apps. Out of all the ones I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot), Any.do is the simplest to-do list out there—by far.

Simply tap, enter your time and you’re done. Want to get rid of it? Simply strike it through to cross it off & then shake to clear it from the screen.

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None of the features are unique (how unique can a to-do app really be?), but where Any.do really shines is the interface. It’s clean, simple and well designed. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not—it’s just a to-do app that lets you see what you have on your plate & makes you want to get stuff done.

Get Any.Do For iOS Here – Free

Get Any.Do For Android Here – Free

anydo

    2. Cal

    Cal is the cleanest calendar app out there for iOS.

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    Besides typical scheduling, it also shows you free time in between appointments—a personal favorite feature. It’s brought to you by the same people who run Any.do, so it actually integrates with your to-do list. It’s pretty cool to see your to-do list pop up in your calendar as a reminder to get stuff done instead of just swiping through apps on your phone.

    The interface of Cal is minimalistic & sleek (the Apple team liked the interface so much they took a lot of the features in the default iOS 7 calendar interface from Cal) and syncs seamlessly with your iCal calendar if you use it on OSX. It’s simultaneously pretty to look at & easy to see all your days’ activities at a glance.

    You can take notes, set alarms, add people from your address book, and set locations for meetings that automatically pull up your maps application.

    Fun feature: If you have a meeting & set it as a certain location, you can call an Uber directly through the app & have them pick you up.

    If you want a super-clean way to manage your calendar & get organized, check out Cal.

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    Get Cal For iOS Here – Free

    Get Cal For Android Here – Free

    Cal

      3. Momentum

      This is a chrome extension that changes the default home screen for your chrome browser to a beautiful dashboard. Instead of looking at nothing—or the last sites you visited—you have sort of a home base headquarters with the following features:

      • Beautiful inspiring background photo
      • The current weather outside in your location
      • Main Focus For The Day
      • Inspirational Quote of the Day
      • Mini to-do list. You can use this instead of or in addition to your Any.do list. (I use this as my “urgent” task list for things I have to focus on while online).

      Since installing Momentum, I’ve found I spend less time bouncing around to different sites—and more time focused on getting stuff done.

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      Get Momentum For Free Here

      Momentum

        So there you have it—three stellar productivity apps that can help you finally get your life organized in 2014.

        What Are Your Favorite Productivity Tools For Organizing Your Tasks?

         

        Featured photo credit: Visual Panic via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

        The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

        The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

        Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

        Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

        The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

        Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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        Program Your Own Algorithms

        Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

        Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

        By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

        How to Form a Ritual

        I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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        Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

        1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
        2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
        3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
        4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

        Ways to Use a Ritual

        Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

        1. Waking Up

        Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

        2. Web Usage

        How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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        3. Reading

        How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

        4. Friendliness

        Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

        5. Working

        One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

        6. Going to the gym

        If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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        7. Exercise

        Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

        8. Sleeping

        Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

        8. Weekly Reviews

        The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

        Final Thoughts

        We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

        More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

         

        Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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