Lately I’ve been hearing complaints from my friends about how time flies so quickly and in no time, they will be old and bold (some of them are already bold!). These complaints began when we started to work for the corporations. Back then, we had enough and more time to do what we loved. We played basketball, went on trips or used to hang around somewhere and gossip the whole day (yeah, yeah even guys gossip! In fact we gossip more than girls :).
We need time to do anything. Even to follow our passions and goals, we need to free our time. All of us have different personal goals. Things we aspire to achieve in this life time. If you do not have any personal goals and all you do is watch movies and sleep, it’s time to get out and start working on your bucket list. If you do not have a “bucket list,” it’s time to make one right now. Checkout my bucket list to get some ideas.
- Travel 100 countries before I die (even though I have never been out of the country yet!)
- Play guitar like John Mayer (I know for sure that I will never be able to sing like him. So at least being able to play guitar like him would do.)
- Start my own business (Gladly I’m working on this after 8 years of procrastination. Not 1 or 2 but 8 years of procrastination!)
- Read books as much as possible (I have this wired ego to know everything about everything there is)
- Have a healthy life (exercising, eating good food and meditating)
- Become a great public speaker (Why didn’t I join Toastmasters sooner?)
Why is it important to have personal goals?
Personal goals are things that “we love to do” or things that “we want to become”. If we do not have any personal goals, we will not be happy. There are some people whose lives revolve around their job. They don’t have any goals to keep them motivated or happy. They just wonder on this earth like zombies, living for the sake of living and will die with millions of regrets in their hearts. The fact that you are still reading this article proves that you want to change certain things in life. I’m sure you don’t want to be a “living zombie?” (I don’t know if zombies are actually dead or alive but you get my point right?)
The problem I see is, many have great personal goals but they don’t have enough time to work on them. In a way it’s true. You have to work from 9-5 for 5 days of the week. Poor audit trainees sometimes even work from morning till midnight (that’s why I hate accounting!). All there’s left is your precious weekend. Many of you want to stay at home and sleep all day long in the weekend. Well, I don’t blame you. Some have classes or lectures on weekend so even your weekend is screwed.
What can you do?
Now you are left with the paradox of “personal goals” and “no time”. You want to achieve your personal goals to be happy; but you don’t have enough time due to your work and everything else that’s keeping your wallet rolling.
The solution is “time management”. You need to learn to “free” your time.
What does it even mean?
We all have a limited amount of time during a day. So we need to maximize the use of it. If we could do a lot of work during a limited time period, we can “free” more time. It’s easy as that! Do more work with less time so you will have more time to do what you love. But, how can you do more in less time? That’s where productivity comes to play.
How I increase my productivity
Following are some of the things I use daily to increase my productivity.
- Hit-list (I don’t like the term “to-do-list”. “Hit-list” sounds much sexier!)
Each morning before I begin my work, I write down the list of things I have to achieve during the day. If you are a traveler, this will be your map. It will show you how to navigate during the day. It sounds like a cliché but this little hack has 10x my productivity. Each time you finish a task, cut off the task and mark as done. The psychological satisfaction of completing each task will give you enough motivation to move to the next task.
2. Typing master
Our jobs are involved with typing a hefty lot of documents every day. Mails, proposals, invoices and even “assignments” that you do secretly during your work hours require typing. Despite all these typing, many of us still have not figured out the importance of speed typing! The ability to not look at the keyboard while typing could save a lot of time of your day.
There is enough software to improve typing and I use Typing Master Pro. If you do not know where to find proper software, comment below and let me know. I will show you the “path”.
This is a gem that I discovered very recently. This app is free to download from Googleplay. If you’ve been searching for something that lets you add great habits to your life, time has come to end your search.
Fabulous gradually adds different habits to your life that can increase your productivity. It’s not a mere productivity app. It gives all the motivation you need to adapt a great behavior. Download it right now and thank me later!
Don’t we all wish for a sexy personal secretary? Well, Google calendar is my personal secretary (not as sexy as your imaginary secretary but does the work pretty well). All my work related meetings, deadlines are scheduled in Google calendar. You can now even add “reminders” so you will never forget all the meaningless meetings and stupid things we have to do during the day.
3. Google Keep
This is my brain dump. Your brain continuously comes up with different thoughts and ideas. Most of the time, they come and disappear. Later on when we want to recall, we cannot remember shit.
Movies I need to download, songs I need to listen to, business ideas, grocery list, my loans and everything else goes here. You can add lists, notes and images in Google Keep so you can always refer to them later. Even the interface looks cool so I am in love with this one.
How many passwords do you use daily? I have about 30 passwords and logins that I use almost every day. If you have a super brain that could remember every username and password, skip this app. You don’t need it. But for many of us it’s not the case.
I used to save all my logins and passwords in a draft email (how ridiculous of me!) and whenever I need to login to some website, I had to login to my email and retrieve the password and username.
This started consuming a lot of time and more importantly, I was frustrated each time when I had to look for a password in my email. Those irritated days are now over because of Dashlane. This is an app that could save all your passwords. Not just “meaningless” passwords like your Facebook login, even your credit card details and all other financial details. It even has the PC version so that you can sync your passwords between the mobile and computer.
I hope these hacks and apps will “free” your time so that you can do what you love. But ultimately, no matter what app or hack, you have to have the desire to follow your passion. The only thing that can take you towards your personal goal is ACTION. Take your action right now.
If you have any other tips to increase your productivity, add a comment and share with me. Even if you don’t have any, tell me what you like about this post and share some love.
Image credit : Dimitris Kalogeropoylos
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