When professionals in the built environment hear the word “time management”, they often roll their eyes. The idea of a work-life balance is something many people gave up on somewhere in their mid-twenties and it’s hard to imagine any tips, techniques or hacks that could help you manage your time better.

If you’re constantly being disrupted, distracted, or pulled in different directions to meet your obligations, it can be hard to think about having harmony in your life, so why even try to do better with your scheduling each day? New York Times Bestselling Author, Brendon Bruchard, says that you need to try because if you don’t have high level focus and the resulting momentum and progress in your life, it can be very hard to find happiness. If you’re not contributing what you could, you will never have freedom. If you want more free time in your life, then you need more focus and clarity.

“The main issue with being productive isn’t that people don’t know what to do with their day, it’s that they look at the tasks before them with dread and accept that feeling, so they stop being productive,” says Brendon.

His 1-Page Productivity Planner has helped many people plan their days so that they can be more productive. By listing the five big things you need to do to move your top three projects forward, the people you have to reach out to today, the people you are waiting for in order to move a project forward and the main things you need to complete each day, no matter what, you will be able to regain a sense of control over your days.

Click here to download the Productivity Planner

TOP 5 PRODUCTIVITY APPS FOR RIGHT NOW

If you need a bit more help to boost your productivity, then – as the saying goes – “there’s an app for that!”

When you think about your smart phone, do you think of it as a tool or a distraction? Over the past few years, smart phones have become pocket-sized super computers that give us access to almost unlimited information. We also use them to avoid boredom. Instead of using your phone as a distraction, you can install these apps to accomplish more throughout the day:

1. Pocket
Have you ever found a cool link or article online but didn’t have time to read it? And by the time you do get time, you’ve forgotten where you saw the article in the first place. Pocket allows you to save websites, images, videos, texts, and a bunch of other stuff for later reading. The reading list that you create is synchronised across all your devices, including your web browser on your desktop. Pocket also integrates with many other apps, including Twitter. With Pocket, you can focus on a task at hand by saving a distracting link for later instead of context switching to other content that probably isn’t even important right now.

2. IFTT (If This Then That)
Have you ever lost your phone while it’s on vibrate? Have you ever killed your battery because you accidentally left your phone’s Bluetooth and WiFi on? With If This Then That, you can download and enable applets that automatically take action when certain conditions are met. If your phone is lost, for example, you can text a keyword such as “lost phone” and it will turn your phone’s volume up to a maximum for you. If your battery is low, If This Then That will turn off Bluetooth and WiFi. You could also choose to automatically change your wallpaper to whatever the top-rated architecture post is on a Reddit forum. If you are at all interested in automation, then this tool is a great place to start. The fact that it is completely free is almost mind-blowing.

3. Evernote
Ideas pop up at any time and they rarely (if ever) wait for you to write them down. Evernote is a cloud-based note-taking tool that offers many additional features. At its most basic level, you can take notes on your phone and edit them later via the web user interface on your desktop. This means you can write down the core of an idea on your phone and once you get back to the office or home where you have more time to further develop that idea, you can do so from the comfort of your desk. You can also organise notes into notebooks and add tags to help you keep your thoughts and projects in order. This tool is also free and it integrates into If This Then That.

4. ToDoist
ToDoist is a task organising app that lets you keep track of all the things that you need to get done. You can organise tasks by project such as a Property Developers and Home, you can assign due dates and you can get reminders when deadlines are approaching. You can share projects with friends and family so that they can contribute and complete tasks as well, and you can even get statistics and visualisations that show your progress. This app is also free and it integrates with If This Then That.

5. LastPass
Remembering passwords can be tough. We all know that we should do better as regards using complex passwords and changing our passwords regularly, but if you make them complex enough to be secure then the chances are good that you won’t remember them. LastPass lets you save a single password to login to the application itself and then it saves all of your other passwords inside the app. You remember one password and LastPass remembers the rest.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Brendon Burchard and Scott Peachey for some of the information contained in this article.

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