3 ways to boost your offline productivity by working across devices

By: Chris Bailey, Microsoft Guest Author

Technology exists to support our work, not get in the way of it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, even for a self-proclaimed productivity expert like myself. I’m just as prone to spending countless hours bouncing in autopilot from one social media app to another. These distractions are depressingly normal: a study done by Gloria Mark in collaboration with Microsoft found we can work for an average of just 40 seconds in front of a computer before we’re distracted or interrupted. Pair that with the fact that the average person owns 3.64 connected devices, and we’ve got ourselves a problem.

That’s why it may seem a bit strange that I’m advocating for how working across more devices will actually boost your offline productivity. But bear with me.

Here are three ways in which working across devices can help us lead more productive, creative, and meaningful lives.

1. Keep track of intentions on-the-go. One of my greatest personal productivity hacks is defining a list of three daily intentions. Before bed each night I list the meaningful professional and personal things I want to accomplish the following day. This lets me choose what’s important (and what isn’t, since I’m forced to pick just three), and work with greater intention throughout the day. I also set three weekly priorities.

But a pesky thing about intentions is that it’s not always easy to keep them top-of-mind. You can be focused one moment and then “wham!” a tweetstorm erupts online and you’re sucked into a vortex of political debate. Not only that, but with constant travel built into so many of our schedules—Americans make more than 405 million long-distance business trips each year—it has never been so important to have access to our lives wherever we go.

For me, this includes my daily intentions list—that’s why I sync the list across each of my devices every morning. It’s as easy as popping open OneNote, typing my intentions, and syncing the list across each of my devices. Whether it’s on my phone, tablet, smartwatch, or computer, the app means my intention list follows me wherever I go.

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