As the temperatures are finally beginning to warm up, it means that spring will soon be here for most of us, both in the US and across the world. Rising temperatures means more time spent outside, and more time to get distracted from important work and other professional goals. But don't fret! We've got a new productivity tips, apps and gadgets to keep you focused in springtime (or any other season when distractions are at a maximum).
Everyone we know has 10 things to do at once, but it doesn't mean you should actually do more than one thing at a time. As GigaOM reported, multitasking not only slows us down, but it can also increase the likelihood we make errors. We like to think our brains are designed for multitasking, but there are limitations to our brain power.
What should you do instead? Focus on one major task at a time, particularly if something is large scale or requires careful attention to detail. For projects you know will last more than one day, set aside a block of uninterrupted time and get to other work during the rest of your time. Using a program like Google Calendar can also help you set reminders for non-urgent tasks.
Get your phone to silent sometimes.
We get it, you're a mobile junkie like we are, but that doesn't mean your phone needs to constantly beep or vibrate with each email, Facebook alert, or Twitter message. During your busiest time, set your phone completely to silent. We live in a world where there is an immediate expectation to communicate, but often times these interactions are not urgent. Your time is valuable, so don't waste it with conversations that could wait a few hours.
Similarly, as you're able to switch from thick sweaters and hours watching Netflix inside to light jackets and outdoor sports, it's also a good idea to turn your phone to silent. Even if you're not devoting more time to being outside, the time you spend will feel more significant. Sometimes mental adjustments matter a lot more than big plans to rearrange your schedule.
Get apps to track outdoor activities.
Yes, you should minimize your phone distractions, but if you're going for a long run, get an app like RunKeeper to track your progress. It allows you to see how much time you're spending with each mile, how you improve through successive runs, and what your favorite paths to run on are. It's also not just for runners, so cyclists and walkers can get in on the phone, tracking a 1 mile walk or a 70 mile ride.
An added advantage? The data from these RunKeeper sessions have led to the creation of beautiful maps that track the streets where runners from cities like New York or London most frequent.
These are just a few ways to stay productive and focused as the season changes. We have a ton of other suggestions, so feel to ask any spring-related questions in the comments section below, or share your own tips for how you'll take advantage of this blossoming season.