“Zen-like calm” is the first characteristic of the Productivity Ninja, and involves the ability to think rationally and intelligently in even the most stressful of situations, whilst maintaining Ninja levels of focus.
Although at Think Productive we have a “psychology before technology” approach to productivity training, Productivity Ninjas are weapon-savvy, and have the right thinking and organising tools at their disposal to help maximise their productivity.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our top five essential apps for achieving Zen-like calm in day-to-day life!
We’ve mentioned our love for the Headspace guided meditation tool on numerous occasions, making it a must for our list of essential “Zen-like calm” apps. If you want to know more about why we try and fit a ten minute meditation session into the start of every working day, we have a post telling you exactly that!
Spotify has a readymade playlist of music for just about every scenario you can imagine. Need to knuckle down and get that last hour of work completed? Try Zen Focus. Determined to finally get those recommended eight hours of sleep? Sleepify. Other great calming playlists include Your Morning Coffee, Music for Concentration, and The Stress Buster.
3. Sleep Cycle
Sleep Cycle alarm clock
One of the most effective ways of reducing stress is to ensure that you’re properly looking after your body. This includes making sure that you’re getting a good amount of sleep, which is where apps like Sleep Cycle can be useful. Sleep Cycle monitors your sleep and aims to wake you up in your lightest sleep phase so that you feel as well-rested as possible – the Guardian describe it as “like being woken up by a mermaid stroking your hair or a unicorn nuzzling your toes”.
Again, taking good care of your body is of the utmost importance when it comes to achieving Zen-like levels of calm. If exercise is your thing, there are dozens of brilliant exercise apps out there, including 7 Minute Workout, which is perfect if you’re a regular culprit of the “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse. For something a little gentler, however, apps such as Daily Yoga are a wonderful to introduce some light exercise into your daily routine.
5. Toodledoo / Todoist / Evernote / Second-Brain app of your choice
“Your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them.” – David Allen. By offloading the contents of your mind into a “second brain”, you automatically release the stress of trying to hold onto one million and one ideas at once. Having a second brain app that can be accessed from your mobile and sync between devices is even better – you can relax in the knowledge that the digital manifestation of your life is only ever a few taps away.
Learn more about Unorthodoxy (and the other eight Ninja characteristics) in Graham Allcott’s How to be a Productivity Ninja.