Advertising
Advertising

3 Weird Productivity Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

3 Weird Productivity Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

We all have to deal with the same 24 hours in a day, and we’re all looking for ways to squeeze more life and more results out of that time. These are three of the little “hacks” that have worked for me.

My weird productivity tricks are a little unconventional, but I urge you to give them a shot and see if they have any impact.

1. Use a treadmill desk

I begin each workday with a 3-4 mile walk, but instead of losing an hour for a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood, I’m getting things done right away.

With a treadmill desk, you walk at a slow enough pace (1-2mph) to not break a sweat or breathe heavily, but it has the effect of getting your blood flowing and your metabolism going first thing in the morning.

Advertising

Where the productivity element comes into play is in the physical and mental momentum you build by walking. The very nature of a treadmill forces you to consciously keep moving, and that inertia can be powerful. It takes a concerted effort to get off the belt, like a total change in direction.

You can cheaply build your own treadmill desk from parts on Craigslist (mine cost $250 to assemble), or go with one of the premade models which will obviously be a better aesthetic fit in a professional office. A top-selling model is the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5, available on Amazon.

2. Track your time

By tracking your time, I don’t mean messing around with egg timers or Pomodoro apps. Instead, keep track of how long you spend on each particular task.

This has the psychological effect of “game-ifying” your work time. Sometimes simply knowing that the clock is ticking is motivation enough to try and see how efficiently you can get something done.

Advertising

One of my favorite tools for this is a free (and premium) time-tracking app called Toggl. How it works is you type in the task you’re working on and hit the start button. Then stop the timer when you’re done.

It’s a glorified stopwatch, but comes with some interesting reporting features as well so you can see what tasks eat up the most of your day, how your performance improves over time, and maybe even opportunities for delegation.

Tom Morkes of Insurgent Publishing recently published a report on the Toggl blog reporting a 238% increase in productivity using this system.

3. Take cold showers

I promised you a weird list, right? Well, I haven’t had a warm shower in over four months and my friends and family definitely think I’ve gone off the deep end.

Advertising

But here’s the thing: there’s something about the mental challenge of having that cold water hit you that motivates you to seize the crap out of the rest of your day.

Oh, it’s uncomfortable, to be sure. You’ll shiver and swear (I know I did!), but you’ll feel alive. The cold water turns the shower from a place of mindless relaxation to a place of conscious awareness. Why am I doing this to myself? What other challenging things do I need to accomplish today? They’ll probably seem like a piece of cake after this.

Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but even so, if the results are a more motivated and productive self, isn’t it worth a shot?

Give it a try for week or take the 30 day cold shower challenge and let me know how you feel!

Advertising

Your turn!

Do you have any “out-of-the-box,” weird productivity tricks that work for you? Please share in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.imgix.net

More by this author

Running Out of Room in Dropbox? Here are 11 Dropbox Alternatives That Offer WAY More Free Cloud Storage 15 Apps That Let You Join the Sharing Economy 3 Weird Productivity Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet

Trending in Productivity

1 24 Best Habit Tracking Apps (2018 Updated) 2 How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People 3 How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max 4 Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100% 5 Easily Distracted? Here’s Your Solution

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 24, 2018

24 Best Habit Tracking Apps (2018 Updated)

24 Best Habit Tracking Apps (2018 Updated)

Everyday our lives are governed by habit. These habits are the little routines and small ways of doing things. Most people are unaware or are only slightly aware that they’re doing them.

Some habits, like smoking, can have harmful effects on your health; others like procrastination can affect your work and career.

Therefore it’s important to take back control. This can be extremely hard, some habits after all are so ingrained that we do them without thinking. Luckily there are many habits tracking apps available especially designed to help you to set goals, keep track of your habits and tackle your bad habits for free.

Here’re 24 best habit trackers recommended to you:

1. Momentum Habit Tracker

    This app has a number of great features which makes it ideal for keeping track of habits and routines.

    One of the most interesting features is that with Momentum, you can import your data into an Excel document, which allows for cross platform viewing of your progress. On top of this you’re able to set weekly targets and take notes allowing you to easily take control of your habits.

    But unlike many apps on this list, Momentum is optimized exclusively for apple devices and as such, you won’t find it on Android which is unfortunate. However a benefit of this exclusivity is that your profile on Momentum can be easily integrated on the iCloud.

    Download: iOS

    2. Habitica

      Habitica is extremely creative in its approach to tracking and maintaining good habits. It is inspired by RPG video games, each task you complete will level up your customized avatar giving you an extra incentive to stay motivated.

      Its unique video game inspired design makes keeping track of your habits and goals fun.

      The app isn’t limited to just habit tracking, but with it you can join your friends and complete quests and missions. It’s not just video game inspired, but is a game in itself.

      But those who aren’t interested in video games may not prefer Habitica.

      Download: iOS and Android

      3. Productive Habit Tracker

        Productive’s simple, but well designed interface makes keeping track of your habits simple. It is intuitively designed, with it, you’ll be able to starting planning in seconds.

        Though it is simple in its design, it is full of great features, and best of all. The app keeps track of your successes, meaning you’ll be able to measure your continuing improvement and stay motivated.

        Download: iOS

        4. StickK

          StickK was developed by behavioral economists at the prestigious Yale University. On signing up, you create a commitment contract with yourself and the app to reach your goals, you can even bet money on yourself.

          For added motivation, you can assign a friend or family member to check your data to ensure you’re on your way to reaching your goals.

          The unique commitment contract idea could be a brilliant way to stay motivated. This aspect is backed by great research, the app is based on the principles of Thaler’s nudge theory

          On top of everything, the app has an eye catching and interesting layout.

          Download: iOS and Android

          Advertising

          5. Habitshare

            Habitshare blends a social networking site with a habit tracker, allowing you to grow habits with friends.

            The social options are well done and relatively uncommon, and unlike others with a social networking options, there is a messaging options allowing you to communicate with friends in real time. This allows you to motivate your friends, or be motivated by them, with it your goals become team efforts. You can also disable the social aspect and keep things private.

            However, Habitshare doesn’t allow you to schedule tasks to be done on a monthly basis, which may be useful if you usually schedule monthly bill paying.

            Download: iOS and Android

            6. MindSet: The Good Habit App™

              Mindset, has a warm, friendly layout that is easy to understand and use.

              Though many apps have a journal system, Mindset brings it to the front and center which is useful if you know that there will be many things to remember.

              Currently the app is only available to registered users of Mindset which is offered with membership to certain groups and organisations.

              Download: iOS and Android

              7. Streaks

                This apple design award winner is built around encouraging you to maintain a 12 day streak of a good habit, as such it is a great way to stay motivated.

                The interface is extremely customizible, as such, you can make it suit you and your tastes.What’s more it can be easily integrated with Health app, one of the most popular apps on the IOS. Used together, you’ll be able to develop healthy habits with ease. If you’re falling behind, the app will send you a reminder, and keep you on target.

                Download: iOS

                8. Habit List

                  Habit List is all about developing and maintaining a streak of beneficial habits.

                  It is great at tracking your habits over a long period of time, enabling you to easily make sense of your progress in a way that is easy to read and understand.

                  If you have a complicated schedule, or want to complete specific tasks on specific days, you can easily set a calendar of activities to complete, and view them accordingly.

                  Download: iOS

                  9. Balanced

                    Balanced is designed to help you keep track and measure your sleeping patterns, your exercise, and time you spend sitting, encouraging you to develop healthier habits.

                    Unlike many apps, Balanced is completely focused on healthy habits. It gets you to be concentrated on only three activities at a time so you won’t be overwhelmed.

                    Download: iOS and Android

                    10. Simple Habit Tracker

                      Don’t be fooled by its name, simple habit tracker is one of the more interesting habit trackers and is packed with interesting features.

                      Advertising

                      If you’re looking for inspiration, the app comes with over 200 pre-designed habits to get you started. One of the most appealing things is the s beautifully designed and eye catching interface.

                      Download: iOS

                      11. Habitbull

                        Habit-bull is one of the most feature-rich habit tracker apps and it’s detailed recording system means you’ll be able to get detailed information about your progress.

                        If you’re aiming to increase your fitness, Habitbull can be integrated with GoogleFit.

                        If you’re worried about losing your data, don’t worry it can all be backed up on the cloud, meaning you’ll never need to worry about losing track of your data.

                        But anyone who’s looking for a more simple habit tracker may find this one complicated.

                        Download: iOS and Android

                        12. Strides Habit Tracker

                          Strides Habit Tracker is a good all rounder, with all you expect from a great habit tracker and more.

                          The app is quick and easy to use, so you’ll be able to start developing great habits right away. If you plan to complete a set number of tasks for a specific date, the app calculates if you’re on track to complete it on time, enabling you to tailor your habits around your goals.

                          Download: iOS

                          13. Coach.me

                            Coach.me comes with all you might expect from a quality habit tracking app, with the extra unique feature of being able to hire either a habit coach or even a leadership coach for extra costs.

                            The coach hiring feature, if you can afford it, has the potential of having a radical impact on your goals and productivity. There are two options, leadership coaching and habit coaching, so you’ll be able to get the training you need.

                            Download: iOSAndroidWeb Browser

                            14. 42 Goals

                              42 Goals is quite simple in its design, but comes with many of the features you’d expect. Unlike many similar apps, it is optimized mostly for web browsers. The website has an online community allowing you to share your progress with friends.

                              Currently it is neither on IOS or Android, but they are in development, so stay tuned!

                              Get started: 42goals.com

                              15. Habit – 21 day routine

                                Habit – 21 day routine is built around the principle that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, as such, it encourages you to maintain a new habit over 21 consecutive days.

                                The app’s layout is beautifully designed. The idea that it takes 21 days to form a new habit is supported by research, as such it is possible you’ll find it extremely beneficial.

                                The app limits you to one habit at a time, with extra costs attached to additional habits. And at the moment there seems to be no free version

                                Download: iOS

                                Advertising

                                16. Chains.cc

                                  Chains.cc is fairly unique in its approach, each time you stick to your habit, your chain grows, helping you stay motivated.

                                  The app has a beautiful and intuitive interface. Most importantly, it can be used both online and off, allowing you to keep track of your habits wherever you are

                                  This is not a free app but it is relatively inexpensive.

                                  Download: iOS

                                  17. Done

                                    Done gives you the ability to track an activity multiple times a day, on top of this, the app is full of the features you’d expect from a great habit tracker.

                                    With the app, you can easily track habits you want to build up, and ones you want to slowly eliminate. Unlike many other apps, it features a number of customization options making it suit your tastes.

                                    The Premium version (paid) even allows you to export your habit data as a CSV file or on Dropbox.

                                    Unless you upgrade to premium, you can only track 3 habits on the basic version.

                                    Download: iOS

                                    18. Good Habits

                                      Good Habits offers many great ways to track the progress of your habits thanks to its smart design.

                                      The app enables you to look at the precise data of your habits and chains. Enabling you to check your progress with ease (paid version).

                                      It can be used with Apple Watch and the Today Widget for extra usability.

                                      Unfortunately, there ultimately is not too much to set it apart from other apps. But if you like the way it looks, you might have a great time.

                                      Download: iOS

                                      19. Habitify

                                        Habitify is bold in its design, and is both sleek and easy to use, and complicated and detailed.

                                        Habitify allows you to keep focused boy showing you the habits and jobs needed to do sooner first, making it ideal for busy people. Detailed graphs and statistics show you all you need to know about your progress and your habits.

                                        It can also be seamlessly synchronized across all you iOS devices.

                                        It is relatively low on customization options, but if this isn’t a problem for you, you’ll find a lot to love

                                        Download: iOS

                                        20. Sessions

                                          Sessions is a well designed app great for timing your activities and habits.

                                          Advertising

                                          It is visually pleasing to look at thanks to its uncluttered interface. It allows you to set specific amounts of time to perform each activity, you’ll be able to carefully plan and structure your day and routine. You can also track your progress as you develop your habits and routines for maximum efficiency.

                                          Download: iOS

                                          21. Morning Routine Habit Planner

                                            Morning Routine allows you to focus on one habit at a time, ensuring you stay focused.

                                            It can be used in conjunction with Siri, for hands free use, a rare and useful feature.

                                            The app includes inspiring advice from influential and successful people, which is a great motivator.

                                            Download: iOS

                                            22. Persistence

                                              Persistence has many ways to make you stay motivated. The app tells you when you are on or off target for completing your goals enabling you to correct yourself and succeed.

                                              Being able to quickly tell when you are off and on target is extremely useful, ensuring you’ll always know when are where to push yourself or relax. As well as this, there are numerous other options and ways to track your goals.

                                              It also allows you to enter notes about your progress and habits to ensure you remember all you need.
                                              It has a $1.99 price tag with no free version. But it’s still less than a cup of coffee!

                                              Download: iOS

                                              23. Rabbit, Habit Reminders

                                                Rabbit is a way to set yourself regular reminders to help you maintain your good habits and routines. If you are looking for a simple way to set reminders, you’ll find a lot to like here.

                                                However, it lacks many of the features common in other habit tracking apps, such as the ability to make notes and keep a log of your successes or failures making it difficult to tell how you are progressing.

                                                Download: iOS

                                                24. Way of Life

                                                  Way of Life advertises itself as the “ultimate habit building app” and you can see why. It comes laden with features to ensure you are in control of your habits and routines.

                                                  On first use, users are presented with an interactive tutorial, to ensure they quickly know how to understand and use all the key features, including: the ability to share your progress on your social media profiles, export your data as an Excel file or CSV file, archive your completed goals for a full record of your success.

                                                  Some may find the layout complicated, however this is mitigated thanks to the tutorial.

                                                  Download: iOS and Android

                                                  More Apps for More Efficient Work and Productivity

                                                  18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools

                                                  Best 15 Money Management Apps That Make Financial Planning Easy

                                                  13 Essential Apps Every Entrepreneur Will Ever Need To Be Highly Productive

                                                  Read Next