There’s no shortage of content on the Internet. On Facebook alone, users upload more than 2.5 million pieces of content every minute.
As such, it can be quite difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, when it comes to finding proverbial content diamonds. You may find yourself spending a lot of time reading something that ends up being pretty awful, or your browser might be so cluttered that you skip over a gem altogether.
Don’t sweat it. At Knote, we’re glued to the study of the science of productivity. We’re constantly on the lookout for new gadgets, new apps, new routines, new philosophies, new whatevers—anything that can help folks be more productive both in the office and outside of it.
With that in mind, we’re happy to introduce a new standing feature, The Weekly Knote, where we’ll summarize and share six of the coolest stories we stumbled across over the course of the previous week. Each story will focus on some element of productivity—whether that’s a new app you can use to get more done at work or a new gadget you can buy that’ll help you live a healthier life.
Let’s jump right in.
1. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ from time to time.
Maybe you’re constantly picking up your coworkers’ loose ends. Maybe you always volunteer to tackle that extra project your boss assigns. Maybe you say okay when your coworkers ask you to pick up their lunches, too—every day. If you’re having trouble getting things done in the office, it might be due to the fact that you simply have too much on your plate. Lifehacker offers great advice to folks who might bite off more than they can chew from time to time: It’s okay to say “no.”
2. Chances are you haven’t heard of half of these apps.
Where would we be without apps? Whether you’re looking for note-taking platforms, personal assistants or other productivity apps, you’re almost certain to be able to find something in the App Store or on Google Play. There’s a catch: There are seemingly zillions of apps, and more are added every single day. How are you supposed to find the best ones? Here’s some good news: The folks over at PCMag have put together a pretty killer list documenting the top 100 apps of this year (so far). How many have you heard of? Better yet, how many have you used?
3. This grocery shopping app will save you trips to the store.
Ever forget to pick something up at the grocery store that your significant other asked you to grab? There are few things worse than having to head right back to the supermarket after you were already there. Meet Capitan, a grocery shopping app that promises to transform your relationship with the supermarket. According to Lifehacker, you can sync Capitan with the phones of your family members or roommates. So next time you pop into Whole Foods, for example, your significant other will receive an automatic notification. Crisis averted—you won’t forget to grab some kale.
4. You need to stop distracting your employees (or coworkers).
Ever had an employee who’d show up to work on what looks like two hours’ sleep? Chances are you probably wouldn’t think too highly of that person, because most folks (the exception being Elon Musk) can’t really crush their jobs when they’re exhausted. According to Forbes, even the most well-intended managers may very well be stifling their teams’ productivity. If you find yourself constantly distracted, there’s a good chance you’re passing on at least some of that distraction to your team. Which should matter to you, because a high level of distraction has the same effects on your awareness as a sleepless night. It’s okay to put down your devices—at least for a bit. We’re not cyborgs yet.
5. Great work results from embracing anxiety.
How do you reach your full potential? According to Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes, some of our greatest works result from perseverance in the face of anxiety. Milhazes, who was recently profiled by Quartz as her exhibit opened up at Manhattan’s James Cohan Gallery on Oct. 22, knows that creating art is an adventure. Milhazes believes that to be productive and successful, we must keep moving forward, even if we’re afraid to.
6. It’s harder to be productive when you’re buried in debt.
It’s nearly impossible to be productive if you’re drowning in debt. At the very least, you’d have to think that you’d spend a good chunk of your time worrying about your finances instead of focusing on the task at hand. To that end, Lifehacker put together a great post offering 10 tips folks in debt can use to hopefully help climbing out of the abyss of debt. If you do find yourself in debt, it’s important to remember that a.) you’re not alone and b.) it’s not impossible to solve your financial woes. It will take time, but there’s no better time to start than now.