Since I was little, I have loved the idea of desert island picks. The products or tools that people would choose to bring with them in order to to be the most functional, helpful, and handy versions of themselves in a time of crisis. I decided to take a little twist on that concept and apply it to my career. I narrowed it down to 3 tools I need in order to be my optimal self. Below are the top 3 tools I can’t live without and you shouldn’t either.
1. Time Blocking Cube
I first found this tip by reading a post on The Skinny Confidential and it’s been a game changer. I’m constantly seeking ways to be as efficient as humanly possible. Time blocking is essentially setting an intention and only doing one task for the allotted amount of time. I love this time blocking cube from Amazon, which has the increments 5, 15, 30, and 60 minutes on its faces for this purpose.
I use it every single day of my life for a multitude of tasks. Wasting too much time on social media? Set a time limit on your time block and only scroll for that allotted time. Need to finish that report at work? Set a 30 minute timer on your time blocking cube and work on it with no distractions. Need to do a closet clean out but keep putting it off because it seems too daunting? Set 15 minute increments Monday-Friday until the job is done.
Time blocking makes large tasks seem more manageable. It’s amazing what you can accomplish during a 5 minute clean up or a 15 minute editing session. Time blocking is a no excuses way to get things done and achieve your goals. I think it’s important to note that it is essential to use a time blocking cube NOT the timer on your phone if you want to be efficient. Recently, Harvard Business Study released the results from an 800 participant study on how smartphones affect people’s cognitive abilities. In one task, the participants had to memorize random letters and do math problems, in the other task, participants were shown an incomplete pattern and had to choose the photo that completed the pattern.
During the experiment, participants were asked to turn their phones on silent and turn off all notifications. Participants were also instructed to either keep their phone on their desk, keep it in their pocket, or keep it in another room. The results? The people who had phones in the other room performed the best, followed by the people with phones in their pocket, and in last place were the people with phones on their desks. Having your phone on your desk affects your cognitive capacity. So invest the $19 bucks into a time blocking cube to get the most out of your work day. It’ll be well worth it.
You can buy the time blocking cube here: https://amzn.to/2C74Ur8
2. Computer Glasses
I was blessed with 20/20 vision so wearing glasses every day was something I didn’t think would be my reality until my 40s. Unfortunately, desk job life has done a number on my eyes. Being a marketer, I spend 90% of my work day staring at a computer screen, writing, measuring analytics, designing templates, etc. I started noticing that by the middle of my work day, my eyes would be unbearably dry and I’d have a raging headache. I honestly thought that would always be my work week reality.
A year ago, I learned about the harmful effects of blue light on the body. According to a Harvard Health Study, blue light exposure distorts the body’s circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. Researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. No thank you!
I discovered Pixel Eyewear through social media. I had been researching computer glasses for a while but the majority I found had ugly yellow/orange tinted lenses that looked very Zenon the Zequel adjacent. I love that Pixel glasses look like normal perscription glasses and came in a variety of styles.
I’ve been wearing these for more than 4 months and I have to say they are worth every penny. I don’t get the headaches and dry eyes that I once did. Also, I have found through trial-and-error of using the glasses late at night when I am writing or scrolling through Instagram that these help me fall asleep easier. There have been a few times that I haven’t remember to put on my glasses while using the computer or other devices for long periods of time and each time, I’ve regretted it.
I wear the “Ventus” style frames which you can buy here: https://amzn.to/2NutNyx
3. Unroll Me
If you guys are anything like me, you get anxiety thinking about opening up your inbox. Monday mornings used to be filled with dread as I went through my mountain of never-ending emails. That’s where Unroll Me comes in. The email plugin analyzes your emails and allows you to sort through all of your subscription emails. You can easily unsubscribe from the emails you don’t want, and keep the ones you want in a simple, streamlined process. This tool also allows you to include the subscription emails you still want to receive into a “roll up”. Your “roll up” combines all your subscription emails into one. Instead of having 15-20 subscription emails sent to me a day, I now get one email that shows them all. I can click on the ones I want to read and ignore the rest. I’m not joking when I say that I spend 15 minutes less a day managing my inbox since using this plugin. Do yourself a favor and download it.
Join unroll me here: https://bit.ly/2PJL745
Have a career tip, trick, or tool that has changed your life? Please leave your response in the comments section below.