There’s a little bit of irony in the fact that we’ve never had more information at our fingertips at any other point in history – and at the same time, we’ve never had to work as hard to stay focused as a result of that access. You’d think the smartphones we lug around with us would make us… well… smarter. Unfortunately, with great things comes great responsibility, and it’s all too often we squander our time scrolling through a feed, rather than building our own contribution.
So. Time to take stock. Take a step back and look at how you’re using these tools at your fingertips. How can you use them for better and not for worse?
Personally, I’m a big fan of the power of routine. The incremental elements we build into each of our days that allow us to function at our best, enter deep productivity, create work we’re proud of, and end the day satisfied with our output.
Routine can also help to fend off constant distraction, wasted time and poorly allocated bursts of energy.
To keep myself functioning at my best and focused on the work that matters, I keep these automation tools in my arsenal…
- Calendly. I save a whole lot of back-and-forth emailing when scheduling any kind of appointment or meeting through letting people pick for themselves from the times I’ve told Calendly I’m available. It also helps me plan my working week and keep an eye on the balance of time allocation. It’s user-friendly and customisable to whatever your scheduling needs may be.
- Evernote. Are you the kind of person to have great ideas in the shower and forget them by the time your hair is dry? Do you take notes on all forms of devices, loose bits of paper, sticky notes and receipts? Let me introduce you to Evernote. Evernote’s the space for any and all size of thought, note-taking, research, references. Designed to hold onto any information, Evernote syncs seamlessly across your phone, iPad, laptop or desktop. Have the information you need at your fingertips wherever you are, and never lose another good idea again.
- Zapier. This is a big one. Zapier’s as flexible with complementing my routine as I need it to be. We’ve talked before about its ability to integrate across a wide range of APIs and offer ‘if this then that’ automated functionality. Routines are built on powerful habits, and when you’ve got your apps communicating with each other, the information and outcomes you need can build themselves for you, leaving you to focus on the work that only you can do.
What other apps make a difference to your daily routine?