There are a few times in life where we almost always feel like we got the most out of our time spent. For example, when we exercise, we reap the benefits of burning calories, strengthening and toning muscles, and generally feeling good from endorphins. When we budget our money, we know that time spent will lead to money well spent and money well saved.
Then there are other times in which we feel don’t at all feel like we are being truly productive. The good thing is that some really smart people have realized this and developed pretty cool productivity power tools to help us get the most out of our time doing potentially time-wasting tasks.
We’ve all walked out of a meeting (or every meeting) and thought how the entire hour could have been summarized in a two sentence email instead of wasting everyone’s time. These tools help us get straight to the point and maximize our time when they’re sitting around a conference room together.
- DO: Do has workflows that give your meetings meaning. It provides meeting agenda templates and tracks accountability during each meeting. Once a meeting is over, Do helps each team member track time on each action item.
- Minute: Minute’s platform helps everybody in the meeting participate. All agenda items, notes, and attendees are in one place so nobody misses a bullet point or forgets an action item. If you’ve ever had to take down meeting minutes and distribute, this tool will be your new best friend.
Get Down to Business
Sit down, open an unfinished project, and stare. Before you know it, the day is over and yet again, you have nothing to show for it. When you wonder where all your time goes, check out these two tools to help you get things done. Surprise yourself by how much you can accomplish by the end of the day.
- Pomodoro Technique: This old school method can do wonders in helping you maximize your productivity—and all you need is a timer. The idea is to split projects into 25 minute time slots with two incorporated breaks. The Pomodoro Technique is designed with planned breaks to improve mental agility and increase productivity.
- Wunderlist: I’m personally a big fan and user of Wunderlist because it keeps tasks in categories, therefore prioritizing what needs to get done. It allows you to create lists, easily check things off, and invite collaborators on group projects.
A.k.a. the worst part of everyone’s day. The average American spends 26 minutes commuting one way—just sitting and thinking/sleeping/staringatthepersonsittingacrossfromyou. Whether you drive, walk, bike, or take public transporation, here a few recommendations on how to be productive while commuting.
- Audiobooks: Audiobooks are great way to catch up on a book that you’ve been meaning to read. Audible and iTunes Audiobooks offer audiobooks for purchase, while Librivox give you free audiobooks read by volunteers from all over the world.
- Podcasts: Serial took over last year and showed a lot of us how cool podcasts can be. If you can think of a topic, there’s probably a podcast on it. Use your commute as a time to dive into a new idea or use podcasts as professional development opportunities. Search your device’s app store for the best podcast streaming apps.
- Duolingo: Always wanted to learn a new language and your commute lets you be on your phone? Check out Duolingo. The world’s most popular language learning platform will help you get your start on learning a new language, instead of wasting time staring out the window on the bus.