Lo que te ha estado deteniendo fueron muchas excusas, como no tengo seguro social, mi crédito no está bueno, tengo muchas deudas, no tengo para el enganche, y si no puedo pagar la hipoteca. Todas…
Use Technology to Reclaim Your Most Precious Asset
The beginning of the year is accompanied by an innate sense for order. You’re picking up the pieces from a hectic holiday season and are determined to find a place for everything and put everything in its place. It’s no wonder sales heat up on storage bins and closet organizers this time of year.
With time and the right tools, it can be easy to organize your things. But it can be less easy to exert that same order over your schedule, where tasks, appointments, and to-dos are scattered. But just as there are nifty gizmos that can help you straighten up your home, there are innovative apps that can help you master your schedule. And they are all at your fingertips. When it’s time to tackle your schedule, try these apps to get a handle on how you spend your days.
Ten million users attest to the popularity of Todoist. Add a task and include a deadline or mark it as recurring (for example: take out the trash every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.). If family or coworkers use the app, you can delegate tasks to them. Visualize upcoming deadlines and due dates by viewing the day or week ahead. For larger projects, create sections and subsections that break it down into pieces. Mark the priority level for each item so you’re aware of its urgency. If you set daily or weekly goals, Todoist creates visualizations that show your productivity trends in a bar graph it calls your Karma trend. You can also look back and see everything you’ve accomplished. The app is free, but there is a premium version if you want more features.
The visual element of Trello is a big attraction for users. In the app, you create and name each board. If you are remodeling, you might create a board called Kitchen Remodel. You place cards on the board to define topics and tasks. Then, you can add cards to the board for topics such as design ideas, contractor quotes, to-do, and done. You can also add members to your board. On each card, any member can add images, files, or comments. The app is free, but you can upgrade to paid business class or enterprise versions if needed.
A note-taking app seems like an odd organizational tool, but its 225 million users must be on to something. You can add notes directly or drag and drop nearly any file type into Evernote, with each addition saved as a new note. With its web clipper browser extension, you can save information you find on the web. What users seem to like best is having all their thoughts digitally gathered in one place and synced across their devices. Notes can be kept private or shared. There’s also a to-do list function that includes reminders and deadlines. While less structured than the other apps, that also makes it more customizable. You can determine how to make it work best for you. The basic version is free, and premium and business upgrades are available.
If you have a specific scheduling problem, chances are high you’ll find a specialized app to help. Travel a lot? Forward your plane, hotel, and auto rental confirmations to TripIt to organize all your travel plans in one place. The app creates an itinerary for you that you can easily forward to family or coworkers. Pocket, a browser extension, helps if you tend to lose track of time on the internet. If you find an article you want to read, “pocket it” and view it offline later.
Everybody has scheduling trouble spots. No matter where your daily time traps occur, there’s probably an app for that.
Do the hardest task first. For most people, concentration and self-discipline are strongest in the morning. Early in the day, you are likely to feel well rested and your self-control is easiest to exert. Putting a hard task behind you can also build positive momentum for the rest of the day.
Group-related tasks. Order tasks either by geography or type. For example, if you need to run four errands, figure out the shortest driving or walking path to get them all done. This saves time and gas. If you plan to clean out the garage, then focus on type. Perform only the steps related to that task until it’s complete.
Cut the distractions. Mute notifications. Put your phone in airplane mode. Shut off the internet. Too many things demand your attention all day long. Focus your full attention on a task and it will be accomplished that much faster and easier.
Written by Ronda Swaney. Photography by ©iStockphoto.com/ gerenme.
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