Productivity tip: 2 digital tools to have your time back

Where are my energy and focus go?

Technology is good for us, but right now we are addicted and slaves of it. Most of us don’t use for our benefit as much as we should. Today I bring you two simple ditgital tools that help you to keep you sane and have more time. 

Smartphones apps are designed to get our attention and be hooked to the screen as much as possible. (https://www.businessinsider.com/how-app-developers-keep-us-addicted-to-our-smartphones-2018-1?IR=T

I love to help clients and friends to use technology to be productive and use the full potential. 

First tool

First one is a password manager app.

How many times do you forget a password to login to an account? Today? Yesterday? Last week?

So you want to login to a website or service, type your username and the password and … Bip! Bip! Password is wrong. Oops.
Ok, so you try one more time, let see. Password incorrect, again! 🙁

Now let’s recover your password;

  1. Click on ‘forget your password?’ or ‘Having trouble to signing in?’ link,
  2. type your username or email address
  3. open your email provider or app
  4. wait for the email to reset your password – sometimes quite fast
  5. click on the link provide it to reset your password
  6. a new tap or window in your browser is open
  7. now you can type a new password
  8. remember it, write it down somewhere…
  9. and finally, you manage to login to the website or service you want to or need to.

How long it pass since the first time you tried to log in? 5 minutes? 10 minutes?
Now count how many times you forgot a password for a service or website and multiple for the minutes you spend each time you forgot your password.

Having a password manager give you that time back, yes! Plus to don’t feel frustrated to do the ‘forget my password?’ process every time.

If you are not using a password app, I will highly recommend starting right now. Between email, social media, bank, other website accounts and more, it’s hard to keep track which password use for what. They are so many to be able to remember all and, don’t even think to try to use the same password. That is so bad for security reasons. You should use a different password, a strong one, for each login/account, this will avoid to be hacked and lost your account, and sometimes even money.

I use 1password mainly, and since I got it years ago I go the one price only app on my mobile and laptop — a great way to keep your passwords and security details in one place and secure.

So go now to find your password app that will work for you, and maybe for your family too, as many you can use for family or teams. And be sure it’s a secure one.

My recommendations: 1Password and LastPass.

“I realised that I have been super anxious lately whenever I had to use a password. It was overtaking my life and now SOLVED!!!!! Thanks so much!!! “

Eva at ‘Bee a Brand’

Here is a list of the top password manager for 2019:
https://www.techradar.com/news/free-password-manager

Second simple tool

And now, let’s talk about the second simple tool and app that help you to have more time. Yes, more time! And it’s not a time machine! Or time-expander app! 

Many of us we use our smartphone for work: personal brand, small business or when working for someone;

  •         check emails
  •         social media post and engagement
  •         make payments
  •         check bank account/s
  •         post in your blog    
  •         take pictures for social media or just for fun
  •         stay in touch with projects and clients via slack, WhatsApp, telegram or other team communication app.

But many of these tasks we do along our day, and this is taking our focus from what matters to us: 

  •         business
  •         studies
  •         family
  •         friends
  •         passions

When you are aware when you use your phone and for what as tracking your habits for one week. Writing them in a notebook and check the ‘Moment’ app or ‘Screen Time’ feature will help you first to get shocked and second to get better organised. 

Moment app: this great little helper tracks your time on your smartphone: which apps, how many minutes, which days you are using more your phone. Well, it helps you to be aware of your time in your smartphone and do something about it! Yes, that the point, have your time back and track the use of your smartphone. To be more focus and do the things that matter to you most: work, family, enjoy nature, exercise, you decide.

(If you have an iPhone, Apple now has a native feature called Screen Time that functions much the same way as Moment. )

So now we know to track our time in our smartphones let’s get organised to have our time back! 

I could be with my smartphone 24 hours a day. Glued to my hand but something matter more to me that my smartphone; my business, my family, my friends, go for a walk to the forest next to my house. 

So instead of letting my smartphone use me, I use it when I decide. I organised blocks during the day where it’s ok for me to check my smartphone and use it. 

Here is an example:

  • I wake up around 5 or 6 am (depends on the day) and don’t turn on my smartphone. It’s on plane mode until 8 am. I use it to listen to meditation music and check the time only. 
  • From 8:00 to 8:45, while I give my kids breakfast, I turn it on and check any critical notifications; from family, friends and clients on WhatsApp. I won’t reply to any of them at least it’s vital. 

    This use is just briefly, and I don’t even have my smartphone in my hands. Kids copy and learn by watching us, so for me it’s important to show them good examples of the use of technology.
  • At 9:10 to 9:30 – I reply to any messages on Whatsapps I need to: family, friends, clients and business-related.
  • From 9:30 to 10:00, I check emails, reply to the important ones, and I will read one or two about business with a coffee.
  • 10 am to 14 – I have my four hours, not interruption work block. Where my phone is in silence and only allow calls from some numbers; as my partner, some family members and my kid’s school. 

    In this block, I will have a break, depending on my task that day, around noon. I will briefly check any WhatsApp notifications, and not more than 5 minutes.
  • From 14 to 16:15, it’s lunch, cooking and read time. I will prepare my lunch and cook part of or the whole dinner for later. While I eat I will check social media and post if need to, reply to comments and messages. Even so, I limited this time to a maximum of 30 minutes, the rest of the time I will read or watch any business-related videos. 
  • From 16:15 to 18:00, I will pick my kids up from school, and I will stay with them until 18. Then back home and start preparing for dinner. 

    While I prepare dinner: cooking, setting up and table and sometimes bath my kids, I will check my smartphone. 
  • 19:00 to 21:00 – Our dinner time is at 19:00 and phones are not allowed in the table, instead, we talk :-). After dinner is time to tidy up and then bedtime. 

    As my twins are still four years old, I will stay in their room reading a story and be with them until they fall to sleep.
  • 21:00 to 21:30 – final check on my phone until I turn on plane mode. 

    I commit to turning off any digital devices like a smartphone or laptop two hours before bedtime. It helps me to sleep better. 

And that is, even I have blocked to limit my time on my smartphone I still believe I could improve and get more time checking less my phone.

The next thing is to apply this when you are in your laptop and avoid checking emails constantly. I turn off any emails pop-up notifications and I don’t have a Facebook tab (which I don’t open at all). If I need I will turn off my wifi too, making sure I focus on what it needs to be done that day.

I hope this article will help you and give you some tips on how to get more time during your day. And if you have any suggestions or questions, I would love to hear them.

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