Hackernoon logoHow I Became Obsessed With Productivity by@sweet

How I Became Obsessed With Productivity

Mariam Sweet Hacker Noon profile picture

@sweetMariam Sweet

Apps and tools I use

Bench Accounting

We all have moments when we realize, we’ve been mindlessly scrolling Facebook or Twitter for 40 minutes already, not doing any actual work. I had that often, until one day, a few years ago, I decided that I had to change something.

I got most confused about my productivity, when I worked as a social media manager (I did consulting work related to Facebook Marketing and Blogging for a long time). Because being on Facebook was considered as my work, it was really difficult for me to track whether I was spending time on my actual work or chatting with friends. (Update: Now I use RescueTime’s premium service, which allows labeling sub-pages within a website differently.)

Over time, I learnt how to manage my productivity better and now I proudly look at my 70–90% Productivity Pulse on my RescueTime app.

Life tracking emerged in the era of smartphones and it is a trend right now. There are numerous apps and devices that can track almost anything, but I want to share a few FREE apps that I find useful and important for my everyday productivity.

1. RescueTime

If you are interested what your time is spent on, this app is for you. You can download a simple application for all your devices and track every activity you perform. It gives nice daily, weekly, monthly reports (annual reports are included in the Premium account) and a simple productivity pulse that shows how you’ve been doing so far throughout the day.

It’s a pretty popular app, so you can integrate it with several other life-trackers.

If I exceed productivity pulse of 50, I consider myself productive

2. Google Calendar

Some people may think this is outdated, but I can’t live without it. Every Sunday, I schedule my week ahead, even meals and sleep. I may never follow the schedule precisely — some alterations happen as I go — but it gives me a realistic view of how much time I really need on ‘unproductive’ things like commuting, eating, showers, etc., so that I can better plan for the productive things.

It works like a personal log too. I can always refer to my Calendar to find out what I was doing at particular times.

One of the crazy exams weeks

3. Lifesum

I acquired this one recently. I log all my food intakes and it automatically syncs with Google Fit and deducts the calories I burn every day from the overall calorie goal. It’s the best calorie counter and fitness app that I’ve seen so far.

4. Moves & Google Fit

These two are absolute necessities for my day. They make me feel productive even when I’m just walking unpurposely in the park. I have a new ‘obsession’ to complete 10 thousand steps every day, and whenever I do that Google Fit congratulates me with a firework. It is so much fun! ☺

Why use both? Because, while both of them track your steps and movements, they have slightly different functionalities. In Moves I can see my trails on a map and can mark points with places from Foursquare. In Google Fit, I can set a daily goal and it gives me weekly, monthly and yearly reports on that.

Google Fit

5. Gyroscope

I found this one a few months ago. You can connect all your productivity and life-tracking apps and it will give you nice data representation that you wouldn’t want to stop watching.

Screenshot of my Weekly Report on Gyroscope

These apps help me schedule and monitor my days better. They keep me on track and lift my mood because I feel much more productive and efficient than before.

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