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Use iOS 6 as Your Entire Personal Productivity System

Use iOS 6 as Your Entire Personal Productivity System

The newest iteration of Apple’s iOS brings the user some more features like Do Not Disturb, VIP notifications and email handling, Passbook, Maps, and more. Apple has also made many enhancements to other stock iOS apps to make them easier to use as well as more powerful.

As iOS matures and more and more apps are added to the stock experience, could iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) be the only device you need to create a fully functional productivity system?

Reminders

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    When Apple first announced the Reminders app I was quick to judge; “It will never be as powerful and functional as ‘’.” But, I simply missed the point and the much larger market of people that don’t need (or want) all the bells and whistles of a tool like OmniFocus, Toodledo, Remember the Milk, etc.

    Reminders lets you make simple lists of tasks that can repeat, have reminder dates, associated locations, contain notes and even links. For a simple task manager, Reminders is actually quite powerful and useful. There is also a new Reminders interface at iCloud.com.

    Most people can be very productive with a simple list of items that need done. In fact, I challenge you to give Reminders a try as the only tool you use to keep track of projects and tasks and see how much you can get done. Sometimes simplified tools are just the tools that we need to do our best work.

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    Mail

      The iOS Mail.app is not something I would deem as ideal, but it’s definitely usable and one can be productive with it. It supports pretty much any email account you can throw at it, rich text, attachments, conversation view, and now the new VIP feature. VIP is a way to have Mail notify you of email from people who you have recognized as VIPs. You can then set up VIP notifications in Notification Center. I turn off all email notifications except for my VIP contacts.

      If you have an iCloud email account you can access your email through iCloud.com and on your device making your email accessible almost anywhere you can think of.

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      Calendar

        The Calendar app on iOS 6 hasn’t changed too much from iOS 5. Calendar supports calendars from Google calendar, iCloud, Exchange, gives you agenda, day, and month views, allows you to handle calendar invites, supports multiple calendars and more. The Calendar app on iOS is the one stock application that hasn’t left my home screen. It’s

        Notes

        Notes may be one of the stock applications on iOS that I have used the least, but I’m surprised at how many “normal” iOS users use it every single day.

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          I work in a company where I iOS devices are becoming the norm, and most people rather than use Evernote or the billion different plain-text/Dropbox syncing applications stick with Apple’s Notes app. It’s fast, simple, and gets the job done. Not to mention you can add things to it via Siri.

          The simple Notes app on iOS lets you add any number notes, search all notes, send your notes via email or SMS, and even print the note to a recognized AirPrint device. For people who want to jot down a quick note and stay productive, Notes may be just the app that they need to not get bogged down in additional features.

          Can you be productive with an iOS device alone?

          At Lifehack, we have touted that it doesn’t necessarily matter what tools you use to get stuff done; it’s more about the process and steps you take to become and stay productive. Therefore, you should be able to use any device/system that has the necessary tools that allow you to be productive. Apple has made a strong attempt at creating a device/OS that has all of those productivity tools that anyone wishing to get things done would need. But, is it enough to become your entire personal productivity system?

          More by this author

          CM Smith

          A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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          Last Updated on February 18, 2019

          How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

          How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

          These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

          58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

          Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

          “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

          So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

          Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

          1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

          The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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          Encourage Your Employees

          When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

          Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

          Offer Rewards

          Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

          The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

          Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

          Give Autonomy

          Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

          Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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          Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

          2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

          I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

          Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

          For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

          We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

          Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

          A To Do Scheduling System

          Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

          The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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          I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

          With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

          Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

          3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

          The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

          “The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

          An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

          What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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          Ask If They like What They’re Doing

          If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

          There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

          “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

          The Bottom Line

          Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

          Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

          For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

          Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

          More Resources About Team Management

          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

          Reference

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