Picture yourself walking around a cocktail party. You’re looking fabulously dressed in your new suit, networking, enjoying the hors d’oeuvres and conversation, and commanding the room with ease. Now think what the number one question is that you are being asked. It’s probably not, “Are you enjoying the asparagus canapés?” More often than not, at these kinds of functions and in your day-to-day life, it’s “What do you do (for a living)?” I get that question quite often and am guessing you do too. When I answer “I’m a productivity specialist,” I usually get a long pause while they process that. I mean after all, it’s not every day one meets a productivity specialist. After an awkward moment of silence my reply is almost always followed by, “So what is your favorite app to be productive?”
To be honest, when I first started getting asked this question I was always taken off guard. I did not have a good answer and fumbled over my thoughts and words to produce one. I used many different apps that aid productivity but I didn’t have a true favorite. How could I not have an answer though? I was, after all, The Productivity Specialist. So I was determined to “find” the best productivity app in the marketplace. I found my answer and am eager to share it with you.
I use many apps on a daily basis. Apparently you do too, as more than 75 billion apps were downloaded from the Apple Store since last summer! I started my research by looking at the self-proclaimed “productivity” apps I use and asked myself, “Which ones are user-friendly and helpful?” I made the following list:
- Office 365 (Microsoft Office applications – create, edit, and share from a PC/Mac, iOS, Android, or Windows device with anyone in real time)
- Outlook (emails, contacts, calendar, and tasks in one location)
- Dropbox (keeps files safe, synced, and easy to share)
- Google Chrome (web browser)
- TimeTrade (online appointment scheduling)
- Parallels (solution for running Windows applications on Mac)
- FreeConferenceCall (conference call service)
- MailChimp (email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails, and track results)
- Edgar (automation and management)
- Buffer (scheduler)
- IFTTT (creates simple connections between the products you use every day)
- Evernote (collects and organizes ideas and digital inspiration)
- Audible (online or phone audio books)
- Feedly (organizes, reads, and shares what matters)
- Pocket (saves online articles to read later)
Android Phone Apps
- Google Maps (provides directions and interactive maps)
- HabitBull (habit tracker)
- Mileage Tracker (GPS mileage tacking)
Then I asked myself, “Which of these apps make me productive?” The answer that swelled in my throat was, “None!” Can you believe it? None of the “productivity” apps I use make me more productive. But how could that be if they were all touted as the best productivity apps on the market?
Trying to solve my dilemma, I further asked myself, “What do I want to accomplish with an app that would make me more productive?” I came up empty handed again. How could that be? The answer was actually simple and stems from the fact that I do not define productivity the same way as most people.
After studying the subject of productivity endlessly, I know that…
Productivity Is NOT Organization
This means that despite what you may have heard, productivity is not the same as being organized. You may hear of “productivity experts” who equate being organized with being productive. Wrong! We’ve all met super organized people with super clean desks who are nowhere near super productive.
Productivity is NOT Efficiency
This also means that, again despite what you may have heard, productivity is not the same as being efficient. “Productivity experts” also like to equate being efficient with being productive but they’re wrong again. Productivity is about effectiveness, not efficiency.
Productivity is about effectiveness, not efficiency.Click To Tweet
Being organized and being efficient can help us be productive, but they do not make us productive.
Investing your best time, into your best activities.
We are all unique, as are our goals, our vision of success, and how we plan on achieving them. So how can we put ourselves in a box and say that productivity is a one-size-fits-all solution that an app can solve? We can’t!
Only you can decide what your best time is and what your best activities are based on your individual goals and vision of success. There are numerous apps available that will you save time, make tasks easier, track your progress, help eliminate distractions, efficienize (I do have a favorite made-up word) systems, and organize your tasks and emails but at the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal decision. You are the gargantuan variable in the productivity equation and there’s no app for that.
Because productivity is an ongoing process, you have to take responsibility for making the decision to be productive consistently. That’s what successful people do! They make the right choice and choose that path over and over again. To be productive, you simply have to invest your best time into your best activities. That’s true productivity.Successful people consistently CHOOSE to be productive. Click To Tweet
Today when I am asked, “What’s your favorite app to be productive?” I reply, “There’s no app for that!” No app can magically make you a productive person. You have to make the choice to be productive and then make that choice again and again, day after day, hour after hour. No one said success is easy. Quite simply, there’s no app for that!
Take Action Challenge:
Commit to making the daily choice to be productive by “Investing your best time, into your best activities.