Whether it’s a morning routine or just daily habits, one of the biggest struggles with taking the idea to reality is finding time. That was the #1 thing I head from people without routines while researching for Win YOUR Day, a book on the morning routines of entrepreneurs. How often do you find yourself going from task to task with just enough (or not enough) time to get by?
Turns out feeling rushed hurts happiness. And it makes sense, right? When we don’t feel like we have time we often get stressed, anxious and in some cases angry. According to this study, people who are busy yet don’t feel rushed were the happiest amongst all other groups:
“According to his (John P Robinson) analysis, the happiness level of this group is 12 to 25 percent higher than that of those of most Americans. What’s more, while the general population’s happiness level is going down, theirs is increasing: 53 percent of people in this group called themselves ‘very happy’ in a 2009 survey, compared to 48 percent in surveys from 1976 and 1982.”
While your laptop can be a productivity black hole, it’s important to recognize that tech and tools can be used to free up time and improve your productivity. Below are 6 opportunities for leveraging technology to get more done in less time.
1. Slay Time Sucks
Free up hours each week by blocking/restricting access to those time sucking web sites. StayFocused is a free Chrome extension but there are a number of tools that do the same thing based on browser or PC/Mac.
2. Organize Your Brain
Having a hard time staying organized? WorkFlowy's tagline is ‘organize your brain” and that's what their service intends to-do. Check it out here.
3. Speaking of Staying Organized
If you start/end your day looking across a couple things like a calendar/task planner/etc., consolidate with Sunrise Calendar. I originally got the app for my iPhone but upon further review it works on just about anything with a screen – desktop computers and Android devices.
4. New Habit Support
Struggling to get that new habit off the ground? Try HabitBull (for Android) and Balanced (for iOS). While different, both apps have the same goal of helping you build a habit through laying out the mini-steps it takes to get there.
5. Quick Workouts…
…because I can't find the time for as many full workouts as I'd like. This is one of my personal picks. After getting in a routine of stretching throughout the day, I wanted more but could rarely squeeze in a gym visit. Johnson & Johnson has hands down the best free 7 minute workout app I've been able to find – deep archive of routines plus it's really free! It's available for Apple and Android devices.
6. Online Courses/Classes/etc.
Ok, so this isn't an app or tool BUT it's a massive list of online learning resources that you can use to learn something new. The list includes a mix of free and paid sites. Categories include exploring new languages, learning to code and even a list of online course/class websites (one that will deliver micro-courses to your inbox each day).
Bonus: Learn Through Examples
Ask and/or search for what real people are doing. Facebook groups and sites like Quora make it incredibly easy to get answers. There's also plenty of research and studies out there, not to mention visual displays of that information. For example, this infographic on morning routines:
Now it's your turn. What technology can you live without OR what's your biggest time-suck right now?
Jonathon Knepper is a digital strategist, hot sauce lover, . When he’s not working (and sometimes when he is) you can find him traveling with his wife, daughter and soon to be newborn daughter. You can learn more about him t dudewiththehair.com.