Whether you want to stop wasting time checking your social media profiles when you should be working, you want to boost the productivity of your business or you simply want to use your time as efficiently as possible so you can do more of the stuff you enjoy, there are countless tools to help you achieve your aims.
Below, you will find some excellent apps, tools, and hacks to make scheduling easier, enable you to track where your time is being spent and boost productivity. Use them and you’ll never waste time (or be short of it) again…
Sunrise is a fantastically simple calendar app that seamlessly connects to other services such as Google, Facebook, and Evernote, so that you can more easily schedule your appointments, keep track of your meetings and ensure that you’re using your time as effectively as possible. It’s great for business people and freelancers, but even those of you with a busy social life should be able to get something out of Sunrise. Best of all, it’s totally free.
If you’re one of those people, who spends so much time staring at your computer screen that you hardly even know what ‘outside’ looks like anymore, and yet you never seem to know what you’ve been doing with all those wasted hours, RescueTime is the app for you. It will keep track of all the websites you visit each day so that you can get a glimpse of the bigger picture, work out where you’ve been wasting your time and start changing your habits, so that the time you do spend online is time well spent. Maybe when you see that you’ve been spending 4 hours a day aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, it’ll even encourage you to go out and get some fresh air once in awhile!
EXCELLENT IT SUPPORT
If you run a business, one of the best hacks I can possibly recommend is that you take the time to find a good IT support team who are able to quickly meet any IT challenges thrown at them. Why is this so important? Because in this heavily connected world, businesses are increasingly losing money and wasting time trying to put out IT-related fires. Disasters like servers going down and data being lost can cost companies thousands of dollars and tens of hours, and it is so unnecessary when all it takes is the number of a good IT support team on speed dial to stop the waste.
Another excellent hack you may wish to consider in either your personal or professional life is the practice of minimalism. On the face of it, you might not think that minimizing your possessions and learning to live with less could save you time; in fact, it might take you a lot of time to actually get rid of stuff! However, the fewer things you have to worry about, the more free time you have. Think about it; you don’t need to spend so much time dusting, cleaning, moving, maintaining or trying to find things when you have very little in the first place. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you think you could live with less, it’s a fantastic way to claw back time.
If you’ve tried and tried, but you just can’t stop logging into Facebook every five minutes, consider using Timewaste – an app that actually charges you money for using Facebook for in excess of one hour each day. Losing money from your bank account each day might just be the kick you need to get some perspective and work on ridding yourself of this annoying, time-stealing habit once and for all.
Freedom is another great app for those of you who just can’t stop visiting your favorite websites when you really should be doing something else entirely. It enables you to block those websites that you are most drawn to so that you can’t visit them. You can opt to block them entirely or only at certain times of the day, so if you want to focus on work, you can block your access from 9-5, for example.
USE THE TWO-MINURE RULE
The two-minute rule is simple, if there is a task that needs to be done, and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it now. That way, you won’t end up procrastinating to the point all of those little tasks add up into one big one which will suck up entirely more of your time than is actually necessary.
TAKE A FIVE
Take a Five is a browser-based app which turns your tabs into self-destructing pages, which will disappear once your time is up. This can really help to cut down on the amount of time you spend browsing news sites or Facebook because the page you’re reading will disappear and you’ll lose your place.
Another great hack for business owners is hiring freelancers to complete tasks. If you, for example, need to call 10 clients just to confirm appointments, that could take you 30-60 minutes or more, and that is time that could be spent growing your business. By outsourcing for a small fee to a freelancer, taking into account the value of your own time, you’ll probably be up financially, and you won’t be wasting your own valuable time.
Week Plan is a great Chrome app that helps you keep track of all of the deadlines and due dates in your life. So, if you’re someone who has a lot of work deadlines to meet, essays to complete, events to attend and goals to meet, it can really help out. It works by letting you assign chunks of time to each task so that you don’t end up wasting too much time on one thing to the detriment of another.
Use these tools where applicable to your life, and you will soon see that you waste less time and have more time free at the end of the day/week/month. Also, take the time to see what other tools are available – there are lots of them, and they can be pretty transformative.