Today, the Lifehack Expert team has shared their favorite productivity tools that increased their efficiency and made their life better. As someone who is always on the lookout for ways to be more productive, I decided to dive in and explore the tools recommended by the experts. Here are some of the productivity tools that stood out to me:
RescueTime is an excellent tool that tracks your activity on the computer and sends you a summary of how you have spent your time with the hours you did the past week. This is an excellent tool to identify your time thieves and improve your productivity because you are able to see where you are spending too much time and where you need to cut down. It also gives you a percentage of how productive you are. When we want to be more productive, the first step is improving the areas you are not so productive, and this tool does all the hard work for you. A weekly summary is sent directly to your email.
The 10-Minute Rule
Another simple and effective productivity tool recommended by the experts is the 10-minute rule. Every morning, set aside just 10 minutes to start an activity. It could be anything from writing, exercising, or working on a project. The idea is to focus intensely on the task at hand for 10 minutes without any distractions or excuses. The two benefits of this technique are that you only have to do it for 10 minutes, so your mind is less likely to make up distractions and excuses, and if you do this without a break every day for a few weeks, you have established a new pathway in your brain.
Mailbird is an excellent productivity tool for organizing your emails. It allows you to organize both of my email accounts in one section, keep track of all my calendars, and generally function better at getting back to people. It’s like Outlook, but free.
OneNote is another excellent productivity tool recommended by the experts. It is used in both professional and personal life to keep oneself organized. It comes with the Office suite of tools but is often overshadowed by other productivity apps. While it has no OS X app, it does have a web interface you can use in OS X.
Buffer is an excellent tool for social media productivity. It is used to post on social media outlets in a smart way. One can maximize their reach and really hack into their social media potential in a simple and effective way. It allows you to watch popular topics in the industry and plan post days in advance. It’s great when you have projects for managing client profiles and your own profiles as well.
Doit.im is a lesser-known GTD app. You can use it to empty your brain, sort your projects, and set reminders for the future. It syncs across all of my devices, and the Doit.im team is constantly making the product better! It is an excellent way to stay organized on projects for both time management as well as outlining the project as a whole. It’s free to use and is definitely worth a shot. You can share boards with friends, coworkers, clients, and bosses. Definitely changed the way I organize my days.
Byword is an excellent productivity tool for writers. It helps you move away from all the distractions that could potentially distract you, and keeps you in the writing mode. As a writer, it helps me spend most of my productive time in the writing app. The less time I spend in a task manager thinking, and the more time I spend in the writing app working, the more productive I am.
Things by Cultured Code for Mac and iOS has changed the way I manage my life. It uses David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system to manage task lists, projects, and areas of responsibility. I can schedule tasks, differentiate between work-related and personal to dos, and assign different tags to tasks to provide context, such as ‘errands’ and ‘offline’. It’s a great way of getting everything out of my head and into the cloud, leaving me with the mental space to focus on more exciting things!
Feedly is an excellent tool for minimizing the time it takes to sift through useless news and get the stuff that matters to you most all in one spot. It’s easy to see all your favorite new content daily without wasting time browsing through hundreds of articles.
The Bible App
The Bible App is an excellent tool for setting daily intentions and increasing productivity. It has preset reading plans on Proverbs that can really make your focus on things much clearer and with purpose. It’s really set my daily planning with a meaning that I have not found before using my own agenda.
SelfControl is a productivity app for Mac that blocks access to websites renowned for their distraction effect. Once enabled, you can no longer access websites like Facebook. SelfControl allows you to choose which websites you want to block, so anything can go on the list. I usually set it for 2 hours at a time. SelfControl has a countdown timer that is visible on my screen, which helps me avoid mindless browsing that just happens out of habit.
BusyCal is a great productivity tool for Mac users. It is a paid app, but well worth it. I color code my projects and deadlines right in the app. It syncs wherever I want to sync it. BusyCal also allows easy tracking of tasks, all in a simple, intuitive interface. After trying a dozen or more apps, including interfaces that allow the client to choose their own dates for appointments, I have opted for the easy and simplicity of BusyCal to keep my appointments and tasks organized.
Any.Do is the best to-do list app out there. For me, it’s more than that. This app is my personal assistant and helps me be more productive in my daily tasks. Because of its slick interface and fantastic user experience, it makes the process of getting things done fun.
The STING Method
I use the STING method to increase my productivity. Research has shown that interruptions waste 28% of a person’s day, and this simple method allows you to minimize interruptions by improving your ability to focus on one task at a time. The STING method entails the following steps: Select one task, time yourself, ignore everything else, no breaks, and give yourself a reward.
There are many productivity tools out there, but the key is to find the one that works for you. As the experts have demonstrated, there are a variety of tools available for achieving greater productivity, from RescueTime to the 10-minute rule to Doit.im, Byword, BusyCal, and Everything in between. The most important thing is to find what works for you and stick with it. So, try these tools out and see what works best for you!