Technology is one of the easiest things we can use to make our workday a lot more streamlined and productive. There are several apps, techniques, and services (most of which are all free), that can help us get a lot better about managing the stress and anxiety that comes with trying to get it all done each day.
Besides using instant messaging to ramp up your communication efforts while working on something else, the following are a few things you can use to be more productive.
The Pomodoro technique is a way to section out your time between break and blocks of complete focus on your work. There are several free timers on mine that allow you to utilize this technique in order to get more work done with less distraction. Most Pomodoro timers utilize 25 minute periods of work with five-minute breaks in between, but this tactic can be expanded, with the interval changed to your preference.
For instance, I enjoy working in 90 minute blocks with a 30 minute break in between. While this long interval doesn’t work for everyone, I found that it’s a great way to make myself more productive, especially when I have to write a long article or complete a project that takes an hour or more.
Some of the free Pomodoro timers that are available online are:
Wearable technology has been one of the biggest trends in the past year. Companies like FitBit, Jawbone, and Nike have come out with wearable wristbands or fancy pedometers that not only track your steps, but also stairs, mileage, calories, and more. Some of these options also have a social component, which allows you to add friends and see how your activity compares to theirs. This type of friendly competition can help you increase your activity more each day.
Because it’s been shown that exercise can increase your focus in productivity (according to UCLA Health and various other sources), wearable technology can help you stay motivated to meet your steps or workout goals each day.
Audiobooks and SoundGecko
If you are regularly on the go and are missing at the time you used to spend reading books and articles, there’s a few ways that technology can help. First off, consider checking out or downloading audiobooks from the library or a service like audible.com, which is owned by Amazon. While the library is free, audible cost of flat rate per month to get a credit for one audiobook.
If you don’t really want it commit to listening to an entire audiobook, you can use SoundGecko of two translate articles you want to read from the web into audio files for free.
Listening to books and articles while you’re doing other task, like commuting, cleaning, or exercising, it allows you to read more without sacrificing get a think done in other areas.
Have Your Car Read to You
Another way to use audio-based technology is to have your car read incoming text messages or content while you’re driving. Many newer model cars now have the technology for you to use voice recognition to make phone calls, have tax read aloud, or even to get the latest headlines and weather report. This cannot only help you feel more prepared for your day is your driving, but also saves the time of having to continuously check your phone to stay updated with headlines or text messages.
This method is also safer then texting or looking at your phone while driving which is definitely a bonus. While you do need a newer model car in order to take advantage of this technology, it’s fair to say that all cars will have this type of technology within the next 10 years.
Surprisingly, one way to stay more productive is to meditate more. Meditation was once thought of a new school line of thinking, but with celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Hollywood celebrities touting its benefits, it’s becoming more mainstream.
A study at the University of Washington showed that meditation training helped people concentrate more remember more details in their work, have more energy, and experienced less negativity.
Guided meditation apps on your phone can help you learn how to meditate. Some of these include:
- The mindfulness app on iPhone and android, $1.99
- simply being on iPhone and android, $0.99
- Headspace on iPhone and android, free
- Buddhist meditation trainer on android, free