Set up your iPhone to work for you, not against you. The smartphone can be an incredible tool, but most people use it as a life-shortening device. Follow the tips in this article, you will become more productive and even live longer.
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1. Use Evernote for notes and lists
If you already have your favorite note-taking and list-making apps, just skip this point. But if you haven’t found “yours” yet, check out Evernote.
For a to-do list, create one long note in Evernote (and add items to it each day) or separate notes for each day. Write down everything you need without worrying about categories. Trust us, you’ll easily find everything with a search. You will end up with a somewhat cluttered, but messy system. And it will work as opposed to balancing with a bunch of applications, systems, and different categorization models.
One advantage of an unordered to-do list is that it’s not convenient to write everything down as a list item. Mix in long notes and quick notes. We’d also recommend writing both quick notes and listing items together. So, download Evernote and place it on your home screen.
The problem with most productivity systems is that they stop working after a while. And you have to spend time building a new system, which is not very productive. That is why we are in favor of flexible systems.
Here, for example, is a simple paper notebook: take notes as you like, draw, and write to-do lists. A list-making app certainly won’t give you as many options. Of course, in such a notebook, it’s very difficult to find an old needed entry. But you can combine to-do lists with notes and then put them in a searchable note-taking system.
The free version of Evernote is enough to get you started: it’s reliable and handy. Then you can buy the paid version ($60/year) if you want a bit more features.
2. Calm – your meditation app
If you know how to meditate on your own, Calm comes in handy because it has a built-in timer and tracking. We recommend Calm because it’s an app that helps you track your habits:
- Download Calm.
- It’s worth the price (it’s $59.99/year).
- Select the Open-Ended Meditation option under Meditation. Decide on how many minutes the bell will go off. That way you can meditate for a certain period (and also make sure your phone doesn’t run out of power).
- Also, check out the Breathe option under More. This can be a good way to reset.
- If you prefer to meditate in silence, you can turn off the sound in Calm: go to More > Scenes and adjust the volume of the sound.
Meditation is about increasing your productivity. Many people think of meditation only as a spiritual practice or a way to relax. But it also affects productivity.
We suggest thinking of meditation also as a practice for gaining skills that will help you become more productive.
With meditation, you practice a two-step process that you will use for more than just meditation. The first step is to understand what you are thinking, become aware of those thoughts, and dismiss them. Let’s call this step “awareness.” Then you need to focus on something specific (usually your breath). Let’s call this one “focusing”.
Some people worry that they get distracted by different thoughts during meditation. But it’s really good because you’re repeating this two-step cycle all the time. It’s like a kind of thought push-up. The more distracted you are, the more you’re working.
3. Keep all your passwords in a password manager, e.g. LastPass
Trying to remember hundreds of passwords is difficult. And if you use one for all your accounts, it makes it easier for crooks. Several good third-party password managers are much more convenient than Apple’s built-in Keychain. But if you’re happy with it, you shouldn’t look for others.
We recommend LastPass. It’s probably the best of the password managers and the cheapest at $24 a year. You’ll need to set it up three times: as an app on your phone, as an app on your computer, and as an extension in your computer’s web browser.
You will also need to set up LastPass on your iPhone to enter passwords in Safari. Select the password manager in iOS Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Autofill Passwords.
4. Use Pomodoro
The essence of Pomodoro is that you have to concentrate completely for a certain amount of time. Usually, it is 25 minutes, and then you have a 5-minute break.
This way you avoid procrastination: you know that a bonus (a break) is waiting for you and try to catch up with some of your work. Pomodoro’s rules are uncomplicated, and the app will still be useful. Pomodoro is convenient to use for individual purposes: to check emails or to finish writing part of the code. It is not very suitable for meetings.
We have already written about meditation and its possibilities to help you overcome procrastination. Pomodoro helps with that, too. Many people feel guilty if they procrastinate during an 8-hour workday. Pomodoro helps you set a more achievable goal: just 25 minutes in total focus. Or, if you’re still struggling, you can start with an even shorter amount of time. This is a great alternative to turning to the write my essay service because students often have to turn there because of laziness and deadlines.
The third basic strategy for overcoming procrastination is to use Brain.fm for background noise.
5. Use Brain.fm
Many people listen to music while working, even though studies say that music impairs productivity. And there is also a social aspect: if you wear headphones, people understand that you should not be disturbed.
But there’s another approach: it claims that special background noise allows you to concentrate.
So, download Brain.fm. You can use it for free for a week, then pay $49.99 a year. Use this music when you’re working and can’t concentrate in any way. This music influences neurophysiology through acoustic features (Brain.fm has patents on key aspects of this process). But you should check it out for yourself: remember that you have a free trial.