Without Your Fancy Productivity Apps, You Are Nothing!

Can you spend a day, without using any of the so-called productivity apps?

I’ll give you a few seconds to think through your day’s routine and contemplate.

Done with the thinking?

Well, if you say YES, then I challenge you to narrate your experience! (We all love inspirational stories, don’t we?).

If you say NO, then well, you are in a for a treat in this article!

We live in a world, that has tools/apps for everything. And, as a matter of fact, we should be thankful for that.

The Silicon valleys of today, are hell bent on creating apps and tech that simplifies our lives. And by the pace of the current technological revolution, we may soon see this (the image below) being a reality.

Oh wait, are you alarmed by such a situation? Don’t worry, we already have plenty of tools/apps that helps in leading a hearty and healthy lifestyle.

  1. If you forget to take a break during work and stand up from your chair then StandApp reminds you to “Stand up and take a freaking break”
  2. If you forget to drink enough water — then Daily Water flushes you with sounds of water that will make you go like, “Alright, I’ll just take a sip from my sipper”
  3. If you feel that you are not getting enough exercise every day, then get a Fitbit, wear it around all day like a fancy bracelet/watch, and track the steps you walk/run, your sleep pattern, etc. with pride!
  4. Heck, there are even apps like Bedposted, that will give you insights about your sex life and how well you are at it. 😉

And likewise, you have one app or another for waking up, finding breakfast, reminding you of things to be done, helping you to do the things to be done, aiding you to analyze the things done, and so on.

So, basically, the apps that you use everyday, helps you do things that you are perfectly capable of doing otherwise!

Are you getting a hint of the irony?

Well, you should!

“Everything is now doable within a few clicks or a matter of few words. “

Quite recently, Mark Zuckerberg initiated something even BIGGER with Just A Rather Very Intelligent System a.k.a JARVIS. And frankly, as much as I envy him for creating it, I also feel that he’s as lazy as any of us! (No offense to you, Mark)

Well, to be frank, I am a hypocrite. I use many of the productivity apps every day. In fact, I won’t be able to operate my life properly, if I abstain from all of the apps, that are amazeballs!

But sometimes, I get the feeling that I am too dependent on these apps.

That brings us to the crux of the article.

Would you ever abstain from the apps that guide the way you live?

Being slothful, in today’s world is pretty easy. There is an app for everything and anything.

I recently read an article by Jillian D’Onfro which was titled Living Without Apps: My Week in Hell. It was published a long back, but she did make a point.

She went on to say something that hit the right chord in my head. — “In a way, abstaining from apps came down to trust. I just had to trust that I didn’t need to be connected 24/7. The world wouldn’t spontaneously combust if I didn’t read a tweet, send an email, respond to a snap.”

Just look around you. You’ll find tons of people glued to their screen, scrolling through their Facebook/Twitter feed or catching Pokemons or educating themselves with great articles or smiling, while texting.

Does it feel good?

When was the last time you hit up a conversation with a random stranger in a bus or a carpool?

In my case, it’s like never. I just end up popping my earpods, glued to some random stuff on my iPhone. It’s like “I have the world to socialize with, why limit myself to the stranger sitting beside me. I would rather tweet out to a fun loving tweep, sitting half way across the world, with a happy gif that makes her reply.

Are you able to empathize?

Well if you are, then I am sure you realize the gravity of the situation.

Let me tell you how my day goes. And how contradicting my thoughts are.

  • I wake up with an annoying alarm that sounds like all hell broke loose. I then go on prolonging the annoyance by comfortably clicking on the “Snooze” button. (I miss waking up and sleeping without any provocation)
  • By the time I really wake up, I open up Facebook and then Twitter and check my notifications for the morning. Then, I go on to read some news and check Wunderlist, which has a list of my tasks for the day. (I miss the times when I held and read newspapers)
  • Once I am ready for my day, I hit up Flipboard, which gives me the latest articles of my domain that I love to read. So, that’s something that occupies me while I commute to work. Let aside the random chats on Whatsapp and Facebook messenger. (I miss the time when I read that book that kept my head full of thoughts)
  • Once I am in office, I check out my Asana calendar, and Trello board, to find out my Plan of Action (POA) and what my peers are doing. Post that, I put on my earpods and get on to work which begins with exploring Reddit and Product Hunt for the latest tools. (Screw that tidbits of “to-dos” on my personal notebook)
  • Then once I gear up for work, I have tools after tools that help me. For eg, I proof read my grammar with Grammarly, I have Slack to communicate with my colleague who sits beside me, RescueTime tells me how and where I am slacking, Evernote helps me gather my thoughts into words, Buffer streamlines my social media posting when I am offline, Unroll.me to filter the emails that I once subscribed for, ande Whatfix helps me create interactive guided walkthroughs to help my peers.

The list goes on and on. And, as a matter of fact, I enjoy these apps. I am succumbed to the productivity that these apps claim to give me.

Which brings me to the point which I want to make!

We must learn to draw the line!

The line here, is tricky. Finding the right balance is definitely the way to go.

But how?

As a professional, you need to unwind. You need to cut yourself some slack and learn to do things on your own.

Much like how you diet to lose weight, practice a diet to unplug your devices to lose that weight on on your mind.

As a matter of fact, there is even a movement via a website which promotes just that.

NationalDayOfUnplugging.com encourages people to shut down their devices for a 24 hours period. They ask people to dial down the noise, and relax, go outside with your loved ones, reflect, or discover yourself. Which is a pretty nominal way of reminding that, WE MUST, at times.

And this year, they are celebrating it from March 3rd to 4th, sundown to sundown.

Such an initiative is simply an example. But, what else can you do?

How can you rediscover yourself without any of your apps?

I’ve noted down a laundry list of things you can do. Here you go:

  1. Talk to that guy/girl you’ve always liked. Instead of swiping right for all of them you like on Tinder
  2. Pen down the things you want to do, instead of listing them down on Wunderlist or jotting them down on Evernote
  3. Screw email. Write and post a letter to your loved ones. They would love and cherish something handwritten more than an email with your signature.
  4. Meet or call your girlfriend/boyfriend, instead of sending them emoticons and texting them that you are busy
  5. Talk to your colleagues, instead of texting them over Hangouts or Slack
  6. Go out and get some fresh air, instead of an app that reminds you that you should
  7. Read that article you’ve always wanted to read, instead of putting them in Pocket

8. Feel free to add more to this list in the comments.

I know it’s too much to ask. But isn’t it possible?

I could go on and on, but ultimately you have to convince yourself to act. That again, is not something I can impose.

What’s YOUR end game?

We are a generation who are growing old, just by sitting on a chair, looking at a screen all day.

We have plenty of things that we want to do but we put off. We instead, go with the assertion of an app that tells us “it’s time for you to _____”

Maybe there will come a day, when we need to abstain from these apps. The day when we will have to rely on the skills we learned instead of googling for it.

What then?

Would you survive or would you *sigh* because you don’t have that one app that helps you to survive?

To sum up, I have the perfect video that you MUST WATCH. (You might wanna pop-in your earphones for this!)

Feel free to comment and add your thoughts to mine. If you think this article is a good read then do recommend and share! (Oh, the irony again!) 🙂