Handy iPhone Apps I Use To Guide Me Through The Day

Do you get all your shit done✔️? If yes, that’s great. Then you probably won’t need this article. Curious anyway? Then keep reading 😊.

When working on a project, it’s a possibility to throw yourself on it head-first and all-in, ignoring everything else that exists on this planet, working extreme hours and periods of time. Maybe even not quitting, stopping or taking any breaks before your project is completed.

I’m a master procrastinator and very much a black-and-white person when it comes to commitment. Either there is none, or there’s an unhealthy amount of it, up to the point where I’m screwing up my health and burning myself out🤯.

Now I am starting to realise there is no point in sprinting if the project you’re working on stretches out over a period of several months. Sprint, and you’ll burn out before you ever reach the finish line. A sustainable and consistent working pace is much more likely to support you in accomplishing your goals. Ideally you combine this with self-love and self-care, where you spend time on things which are good for your body, mind and soul🧘‍.

Do you also take the time for self-care? I started doing so more seriously this year. I’m nowhere near having this perfectly organised, but I think I am on the way and I have these habits as my foundation to build upon.

If I want to be successful in life, I must make sure my body and mental health are in good shape. To enforce these, I made a list of core habits I want to firmly establish. Whatever happens, as long as I keep doing these, I know that I will stay healthy and sane, and keep taking steps in the right direction.

Habits-wise, most I just need to do, others I use an app for. I try to organise the habits in chunks and do more of them in one go, so that I can mark them as completed straight afterwards in my Productive app (below).

For reference, here’s part of my list of habits:

1 — Do yoga
2 — Meditate (Headspace)
3 — Eat 2 portions of fruit
4 — Drink 2 liter water
5 — Walk 10.000 steps (Stepz, Audible, Podcasts)
6 — Read a hardcopy book
7 — Before-bed stretching

Now let’s start.

Organisation

1 — The core iOS app I use to track my healthy habits, is ‘Productive’. Here I wrote down a list of 10 most important habits I ideally finish every single day. You can customise your habits to the max and schedule them by time of day (morning, afternoon, evening), and by day (Monday, Tuesday, every day, and so on).

Give your habit a name, choose and icon and icon color, and you’re all set.

One habit completed? Then you can swipe right to mark it as ‘complete’. And with the new iOS update, it’s possible to give a specific voice command to Siri🎤, who will then mark the task as ‘completed’ for you! Saves you even more time💪. (You do have to memorise the voice command and use that exact one, otherwise it won’t work. Siri is still learning.)

On the monthly calendar in the app, you’ll have a perfect overview of ‘perfect days’, where you completed all your habits, or days where you finished just a few habits. This fully coloured circle motivates me to tick as many off as I can.

2 — Wunderlist: a simple to-do list where I bulk-drop and get rid of my thoughts. Get them out of your head and on paper, or in a list, so you can focus on your work. Ideal for grocery shopping, or dumping other to-do’s.

Physical & mental health

3 — Stepz iOS app to track my steps🚶‍. I want to offset the damage done by sitting all day. So to stay flexible I make sure to walk as much as I can. My personal minimum is also the recommended 10,000 steps each day.

You will be able to enter your basic data (weight, gender, height, all used to calculate the amount of calories burnt). It’s possible to adjust your daily goal up- or downwards. The Health app on your iPhone will provide you with a similar overview and similar data, it’s just that I prefer Stepz due to the bars colouring red, orange and green, depending on how close you are to your goal (visually more appealing to me). Both apps will show you the average per week and how many stairs you climbed.

4 — Headspace for guided meditation sessions on an easy-to-use interface. The first 10 basic sessions are for free. It’s possible as well to try a free session from one of the other packs. Many packs have been added to the app (e.g. Self-esteem, Patience, Prioritization).

So far the first 10 free sessions have been enough for me, but at some point I might upgrade and try out all the other packs. Can highly recommend, since meditation, with the help of this app, has brought much more calmn and peace of mind into my life.

Education

6 — Audible: audiobooks for your commute to work, or to accompany you on your journey to your daily 10,000 steps. Reaching the 10,000 steps sometimes requires me to walk for 1,5 hours or more, depending on the pace. Without something to listen to, I wouldn’t last. I recommend to educate yourself while walking yourself healthy and fit.

7 — As an alternative to Audible for my commutes or walks I use the app Podcasts to, well, listen to podcasts🎧. A few of my favourite shows are The GaryVee Audio Experience, The Darius Foroux Show, Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik and Code Newbie.

8 — Ok, this one is not a necessity, but instead more fun! If I must grab my phone out of (bad) habit, I want my time to be spent well. I’m a HUGE fan of Memrise, a spatial-repetition language learning app. With only 5 minutes of learning each day you can up your vocab in your target language of choice.

Next time, try the app during that commute before you mindlessly scroll on Social Media.

Productivity

9 — I often default into slacking off. I hate it and I’m not content with it. I might grab my phone to check out one thing, and before I know it I’m scrolling on Instagram. Or I automatically go to YouTube and binge-watch one talent show after the other. Suddenly, 2 hours have gone by.

To protect me from myself, I have used Moment, an iOS app which tracks how often and how long you are on your phone. I wil however switch to iPhone’s Screen Time, since it would allow for one app less to be one my phone. More decluttering, fewer distractions📱. And of course no need to download Screen Time since it’s already on your phone.

The app will show you exactly how much time you waste on your phone, how often you picked up your phone, and the type of app you’re playing on. My biggest time ‘consumer’ is Social Media☝️.

The times you spent on your phone are displayed in a fancy bar graph. Below that you will see the exact apps you are allowing to control your life.

The facts don’t lie and motivate me to put my phone down to get back to work. Different story of course if you’re using a useful app. Or if your entire business revolves around Social Media. In my case I was consuming, so that isn’t allowed.

The golden Chrome extension for the computer

A handy helper for you desktop Chrome users out there is the ‘Go F*cking Work’ extension. It blocks websites you want to avoid forever. In case you are weak and try to go to your favourite slacking off website, you will be redirected to a page telling you to go f$ck yourself or to go f$cking work. You can even choose in what language you want to be cursed at🖕. The luxury. But it does help.

No worries, there’s a big pause button in case you refuse to be parted from your favourite BS-site.

I hope this was helpful to you.

If you have interesting alternatives, or additions, please let me know.

Thank you! ❤

Writing my way to progress. Topics: personal growth, life lessons, tooling & (failed) ventures. Owner: Google Sheets Geeks pub. https://bit.ly/GraciaWrites