Stop wasting time by using these tools!

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Part of the hustle is making sure that you manage your time, but what does that actually mean?

Managing your time always seemed to be like telling someone to be confident, if you don’t know how to do it you need more. When you know what goes into the whole package of confidence or time management, it just seems so obvious.

How do you manage time? Do you schedule everything? Do you look for wasted time and work to optimize? Do you reduce distractions to make the time count?

To me, all of these are part of “Time Management”, and all of these are critical to getting the most out of your working life. Keep reading as I am about to give you 4 of the best extensions and programs that you can use to cut down on distractions , reduce time spent on everyday activities, and really help you get the most out of your time!

Pushbullet

pushbullet

We have all been picked up our phone, checked email, wondered if someone texted back yet and just needed to check one more thing! We are creatures wired to think we might be missing something if we’re not constantly connected. In the past, I have used inbox notification systems and Facebook notification systems that integrate with Chrome but I have found something even better.

Pushbullet is an application that integrates with Chrome and multiple other devices to allow for the sharing of content.  Beyond the convenience of file transfers and device switching, I have found this to be a fantastic way to ditch my phone while working.  Pushbullet integrates with your phone to send all your notification to your browser and even allows you to respond to notification right in the browser, if you get a notification you can check it without your device. Plus you can easily snooze Pushbullet for an hour at a time allowing you to fully concentrate on your work.  By putting your device out of sight and reach you may also notice a decline in “needing to check one more thing”. Being out of sight, it becomes out of mind.

 That physical device simply sitting in our pocket or on the desk reminds us that there is something outside of what we need to do, and removing that temptation is a huge step forward for both concentration and productivity.

Strick Workflow

2016-03-19 18_25_19-NetflixThe world is really great at being a distraction and that is partly because we live in a fantastic world but also because we kind of like being distracted. We love Facebook, YouTube, Netflix and, if we let ourselves, we can slide into a world of them where productivity isn’t as important. While that might be fine for a few hours, sometimes we need to crack down and get to work. This is where Strick Workflow comes in!

I have tried multiple website blocking tools (tweet me if you want me to write a post about that test!) and Strict Workflow is the clear winner! Strict allows you to block sites for a set amount of time and functions around the Pomodoro Technique, using alternating periods of 25 min of work and 5 min of relaxation or off-time to maximize focus and productivity. Over time, you can start to track these periods and discover how many you need to use for each task and learn to more effectively estimate your effort and time. That being said in the beginning you will just want to use it to force productivity and block distractions.

As you can see in the screenshot below, you are able to block a list of sites you found distracting or use the prepopulated option that comes with SW.  While you can modify the time blocks, Pomodoro is a decently balanced productivity system so why mess with it? Just start working with the tool.

2016-03-19 18_47_56-Strict Workflow Options

Also, if you are a developer that wants  to know more you can check out the GitHub here. I have always wanted to work on a customization of the tool but that isn’t hustle relevant yet!

Spreed

Stop reading like a human and start reading like a machine! Now I am not saying to never read slowly, but if you have to consume large amounts of knowledge in a short time frame an app like Spreed can take you to the next level. Spreed allows you to highlight chunks of articles and with a right click allows you to put that text into a popup window that will assist in speed reading, even if you have never tried to speed read before.

Here’s an example of Spreed working at 400 wpm:

Spreed Gif

I started using Spreed while working on content curation early in my startup career and was able to be much more productive in my role with all the time I saved.

Also, if you are not amazing when it comes to reading this tool might be helpful. As someone that has a slight learning disability when it comes to reading this has made content much more consumable for me. This reduced a lot of stress around content review and online self-driven learning.  Try it out.  

GreenShot

Blog posts, emails, presentations, and helping stuck or confused customers and co-workers, all of these things are made better with the addition of images. From helping to explain a concept or idea, to simply showing someone how a tool works, an image or visual can take you a long way.  I mean, they are worth 1,000 words, so if you can do them quickly then just think about how powerful and time-saving that could be.

That being said, don’t you hate sending your whole screen to someone and or having to edit an image?  It is just so many steps to change the size or add arrows and the programs can take forever to do and the tools you need aren’t always right at your fingertips … it is just kind of annoying to do without a streamlined process.

That is why I switched to Greenshot. With the press of the print screen key, I can take selections of the screen, upload them to an image sharing account, open them in a lightweight editor with circle and arrow tools, or any number of other handy commands.

03-selecting-capture-region-1024x717 04-selecting-screenshot-destination

If you are working with clients, making a presentation or even a blog post like this one, this is the most helpful program included in this post. I can’t imagine creating content without this! I was able to get all the images I needed for this post in under 5 min (minus the moving .gif, I’m not a wizard). I use this daily to show clients where important links, to capture development issues, this is one of the biggest time savers.

Bonus: Easy Muting When Using Chrome

mute

I would never actually mute Tech!

This has little impact on productivity for me but is one of those things I always wanted. When I finally found it, I thought it was something everyone in the whole world should use.  Copy and paste chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting into the chrome address bar, click enter and then enable the setting. This allows you to mute any audio playing on any tab by simply clicking the little sound icon that pops up.

Never again will you have to scramble when an auto-play video or ad starts, if you need to quickly mute your music streaming service for a work conversation it is just a single click away without having to navigate away from what you have open.

Manage Your Time

These are just some of the changes that you can make but adding these into your workflow will allow you to manage yourself, manage distractions and get the most out of all your time. Click the links, download then, and start getting more done in your day!

Let us know in the comments what tools you use and if you think one of your friends would benefit from this article click the share buttons and spread the hustle! Remember people remember those that help them on the hustle, use the content you read to empower others!

 

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