Happy Saturday, friends. Since we hopefully all have a little downtime today I wanted to share a few phone apps that I've been using a lot lately. Perhaps you'll find one of them handy dandy, too:
QuizUp is a trivia game app that you can play against your friends or against strangers around the world. It has literally hundreds of topics:
Each of its main categories is broken down into further subtopics, which is a fun feature. They add new topics and questions all the time, and you can also submit your own:
Some of the questions are ridiculously easy and some even include picture clues:
But I've learned a bunch of trivia since our friend Shawn got us playing QuizUp a couple of weeks ago. And you'd be shocked at how clueless some people are. I honestly had a competitor guess that sushi originated from India. I guess some people really do think all Asians look alike!
QuizUp is very fun and it's quite a tickle to beat your friends and family, too. Each game is quite short, but word of warning: QuizUp is insanely addicting. I've got things under control now but the first couple of days after I downloaded it I wanted to play for hours at a time. If you find yourself in the same boat, check out my next app recommendation.
One of the habits I am most determined to fix this year is my terrible propensity towards EMIB (Everlasting Meaningless Internet Browsing). I will always, ALWAYS sit down to design an invitation and recollect myself two hours later, mired in a foggy bog of Etsy likes and Twitter retweets, with nothing to show for my time except an Amazon cart full of kitchen tools and a Pinterest board full of Snickerdoodle bonbon recipes which I have a 3% chance of actually attempting.
Sometimes I will alternate ridiculously long periods of EMIB with short bursts of actual productivity. This is a teensy, tiny improvement, but is clearly still like an express train to nowhere. At the end of last year I gave myself a stern talking-to and decided that this ends now.
Enter 30/30, a combination time management and task-list app that has already improved my work output dramatically:
As you can see 30/30 allows you to make lists of items that you want to get done and assign minutes allowed for each of them. It's quite simple to add or subtract time, or send items to the top or bottom of your list. The app beeps gently when it's time to move on to the next item.
I've created multiple lists depending on what I have to get done. I often just open up the Random list and make a temporary to-do schedule for the day:
So I still allow myself some rest time with Instagram or a chillout cup of coffee, but now I can make sure they are controlled fires that don't suck up half my day. Baller break:
I'm so proud of us beause we are successfully establishing a regular gym workout schedule! I feel better every time we work out and for the first time in my life I like going to the gym.
But you know how the gym is - a sea of joggers, Zumba addicts and bros skulking through the tangled cluster of weight racks. It's not great for warming up, cooling down and for the absolutely crucial stretching portion of keeping yourself healthy. Stretching is something you need to do every day if you want to be lively and limber into your later years. So now I open up Sworkit at the end of my gym cardio workouts:
It takes just a couple of taps to start ten minutes of stretching or yoga, and I always feel a million times better afterwards.
And Sworkit is by no means just a cool-down tool. They have cardio and strength routines that you can complete with no extra equipment and relatively little space. I am slowly incorporating the strength moves into my current routine. The app has great voice cues and little animations demonstrating every exercise, so it's super easy to follow.
You can also look through their comprehensive list of dozens of moves to put together your own routine:
Sworkit actually works best on your tablet. I am a huge nerd and often tote my iPad along to the gym so I can read on the fricking elliptical. But I've also used Sworkit on my iPhone with no problems. I love that the voice cues don't pause Spotify, because I can't be at the gym without my earbuds in. Sworkit is a great tool all-around whether you have five minutes, or fifty. Give it a try. It's good for you!