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Editing To-Do Lists On the Go: Integrate Toodledo With Captio

Editing To-Do Lists On the Go: Integrate Toodledo With Captio

    One of the biggest problems with to-do lists is a system. How are you updating your lists and how do you keep track of them? For this problem I have found a solution, which I will share below.

    First: we all know the potential of to-do lists. We all (should) use them and we all probably know enough about GTD to use them effectively. If not, I will explain a couple of concepts quickly. After each concept there is a link you can follow to read more about it.

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    • Systems. You need a system to keep track of your to-dos. You simply can’t remember to remember what you should do and when. Therefore, there are multiple systems which can help you keep track! More on productivity systems.
    • Batching. If you want to get really productive, you should tackle your to-dos in batches. For instance, when you are out and about you should not only get your groceries, but go to the post-office as well. The same with email. Don’t respond all day to every email you get, but take care of them twice a day, all in a row. You will get in the flow and you will be able to do your tasks much faster. More on batching.
    • Prioritizing. Which is the most important task on your list? Now you need to make that your priority over the other tasks. The thing with a busy work-day is that you are distracted all day. By getting a phone-call or responding to an email you will feel busy, but you aren’t, because you didn’t have the time to actually get some work done. Read more: Mastering the Art of Prioritization

    Now that we tackled the basics of to-do systems, keep in mind how it works while I explain a system I personally use which works great for me. After that I am going to guide you step-to-step on how to set it up.

    Using Your Smartphone To Manage Your Tasks

    I currently use two simple iPhone apps to submit tasks and to keep track of them. The first is Captio – a note-taking app (and nothing more). You write down whatever you want and it will be sent to an email address. For Android users there is Jotter in the Android Market.

    The second app is Toodledo for iPhone. For Android users: there isn’t a native Android app, but the third party apps will work just as well.

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    The beautiful thing about Toodledo is that it gives you an email address where tasks can be mailed to. These emails get processed by Toodledo and will pop-up in your task list when you open up the app. What we are going to do is set up Captio with this email address, to enable yourself to send to-dos very quickly to your to-do lists.

    Of course, doing this by email is possible as well, but in the settings we put in the Toodledo email, so you don’t need to remember it.

    Now, with a couple of quick shortcuts you will have everything you need for optimum to-do list control!

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    How To Set Up The System

    Actually it is really easy. Log in at toodledo.com and navigate to this page. Copy the email address you find there and fill that in at the Captio settings. Now when you send a note from Captio it will go immediately to your to-do list.

    Now it’s gonna get fun. Why? Because you can set values within this note, which you can all find here. You can set priorities, due-dates, folders and contexts all with special syntax. A couple of examples I personally use:

    • Read Martin Luther King’s speech %read – The “read Martin Luther King speech” is the task. The %reading is the tag I gave it. Tags enable you to differentiate tasks from each other without a lot of hassle. Now when I open up Toodledo I can sort tasks by the tags and I can batch things. I use tags like %email, %checkout and %pay.
    • Pay phone bill %pay #today – Again, the tag. But now I added a due-date as well, which is today. By setting a due-date on that day you will get a reminder and it will be on the hotlist within the app, so you know you have to do something quick.
    • Call Tom for our meeting #tomorrow =4:00pm :1 hour – This is for a meeting tomorrow, at 4 pm. I need to remind Tom 1 hour ahead, because he will be late otherwise!

    If there is need for editing you can always open up the Toodledo app and edit it from within the app, the only thing Captio does is enable you to send out tasks as fast as the wind. It might seem a lot of work to set up at first, but after using it for 3 tasks you will understand the of effectiveness of this system. You only need two actions  (booting up Captio and sending the task) instead of over ten tasks from within any to-do application.

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    Now, by using this system you’ve created a bulletproof way for getting your to-do’s in place. Will this work for you? Have you created a better system yourself already? Share it in the comments!

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    Editing To-Do Lists On the Go: Integrate Toodledo With Captio

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    Last Updated on April 19, 2021

    The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

    The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

    Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

    The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

    Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

    In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

    When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

    Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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    1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

    When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

    As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

    That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

    The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

    What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

    Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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    There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

    So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

    2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

    When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

    No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

    3. Move Your Body

    A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

    It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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    So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

    4. Connect With Another Person

    Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

    One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

    Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

    5. Use Your Imagination

    When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

    That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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    And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

    Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

    Final Thoughts

    Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

    Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

    More on the Importance of Taking a Break

    Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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