Note: This post was originally written on Medium.

Hey all. School’s started and it’s time to get back on the work grind. If you’re like me who still has to get out of the do-whatever-I-want-because-its-summer habit, this is not a good thing.

I often ask myself: Can’t I just get my work done early and play some more? “Easier said than done” says the skeptical reader.

Not exactly. All you have to do is build some more habits. Productive habits. Who said wanting to do other stuff than school was a bad thing?

“But creating habits is hard.”

Yes, but don’t do it by yourself. Let technology do it for you. Here are some apps/features to make sure you’re not wasting anytime on work while still keeping you mentally sane.

Fullscreen mode.

Wow. What a marvel. Simply full screening your view while working on Google Docs or Word does magic on productivity.

Do Not Disturb mode.

Another wonderful marvel that not enough people use. Have your phone nearby to listen to music while still getting work done.

A timer app.

Any will do. Just set it for 3 hours to do deep work. Studies show that doing 3 hours of work in one session gets more done than spacing it over a while. Have an essay due in a week? Get it done today in 3 hours and don’t worry about it until drafting or editing phase comes up. This goes for all the other subjects too, just get it done. Simple as that.

Work outside.

Not really an app but also not a hard habit. Studies have shown that it reduces stress to a very great degree. Humans are animals too, and our natural habitat isn’t a library or a bedroom: it’s the trees and grass outside. Sit at a picnic table and toil away.

Jumpcut (Mac) / ClipJump (Windows).

Easily one of the best apps out there. Ever had the time when you needed to copy and paste multiple things? This app fixes all of that.

F.lux / Night shift.

I’m guessing 87% of you work late at night to get stuff done. Great, just make sure you’re not ruining your health in the process. Put less strain on your eyes and get sleep right after that late night work, not two hours later. F.lux automatically shifts the lighting of your screen depending on the time for the optimal view for your eyes.

Quicksilver (Mac) / Launchy (Windows).

Need to get that word document transported into a PDF, uploaded to google drive and mailed to your teacher? Do it in one click, not a thousand. It’s very similar to MacOS' Shortcuts app

Satisfied? You should be. Those are all the goodies you need (a todo list would help too but those aren’t very hard to find). This isn’t a foolproof plan but it’s better than how most people are working these days. Because in the end, less work + more time living = the life you (and I) want to live.


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