Becoming a better professional by spending some time playing on your phone sounds like a crazy claim that’s too good to be true. After all, aren’t smartphones making us dumber? Well, in some cases yes. There isn’t much evidence proving that scrolling through Instagram will make you a genius, but there definitely are some beneficial apps for you to use. Most of the apps make bold claims about their benefits, but these filtered ones have the science to back them up.
1. Make Better Decisions with Sleepbot
As a working professional, getting a full eight hours of sleep may seem like a distant dream, but it’s not smart to skimp on it either. Sleep helps to reset your brain, and not getting enough makes it much more difficult to make decisions, remember details, and solve problems. Professionals need to be on the top of their game at all the times, especially when it comes to mental well-being, so getting substantial shut-eye should be at the top of your priority list.
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Sleep tracker app Sleepbot makes it easy to find the optimal sleep schedule for you. It records your movements during rest to determine your cycles, and creates charts for you to check out when you wake up. Sleepbot then analyzes your sleep data over the long term to find the most optimal resting and waking times, and gently wakes you during your lightest sleep cycle with a gradual alarm system.
2. Become More Productive with tryAround
A lazy body can create a lazy mind, and laziness doesn’t blend well into the working world. Other than being good for your overall health, exercise is truly responsible for a more productive mind. Scientific American conducted a study measuring the mental effects of exercise over an extended period of time. They proved that physically fit people were quite literally smarter than those who did not exercise. Increased oxygen levels and hormonal releases have been scientifically proven to increase mental cognition, ability to learn, and reasoning skills. Staying active also increases energy levels overall, making you a smarter and more productive person with a healthy mind and body to boot. Win-win!
You can track your everyday activity and learn exactly how many calories you are burning with the ultra-personalized fitness app tryAround. When it comes to health apps, customization is key to get accurate results. TryAround measures calorie burn based off of the user’s metabolism equivalent, rather than just height and weight. The app measures over 900 activities, from running and weight lifting to cleaning the house and taking out the trash. The app integrates with Apple Health to track your daily steps as well and create charts to show your activity, weight loss, and overall fitness improvements over time.
tryAround is available for download on iTunes.
3. Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Catch It
Whether you are worried about your business, overworked, or overwhelmed by your responsibilities and workload, it is difficult to escape the stress and anxiety that comes along with the professional life. However, being constantly stressed out can lead to poor health (both physical and mental), and can take a toll on your work performance. Stress can lead to poor time management, strained relationships, and a general lack of focus. Prolonged periods of stress can even cause anxiety disorders and depression.
The Universities of Liverpool and Manchester collaborated to create an app that helps users manage their moods related to stress and anxiety through journaling. The Catch It app is designed to help “make sense of your moods” by using cognitive behavioral therapy tactics. Users can quickly record their anxiety levels and record the times, activities, and locations to see if there are any correlations. The app is not a replacement for a mental health professional of course, but it is a great way to combat stress and record your moods and find solutions.
4. Improve Your Memory with BBF
Being a busy worker means you’ve got a lot on your mind. It can be incredibly easy to forget certain details. But forgetting things like meetings, deadlines, and other items on your to-do list can hurt your business and lead to endless frustration. Thankfully, a forgetful mind can be trained with a little bit of mental exercise. According to the American Psychological Association, using retrieval based learning strategies (memorization) can help you retain information for longer periods of time. It also promotes a deeper understanding and more meaningful learning experience. Playing games that challenge your brain and memory helps to improve your cognitive functions, leading to a sharper mind, while slowing down the effects of degeneration.
Playing memory games every day can help to give your brain a workout and keep it in tip-top shape. BBF adds a bit of elementary humor to the concept. Different characters create sequences with some rather embarrassing bodily functions, so you have to rely on your memory to repeat the patterns back. This amusing game can significantly improve your remembrance skills overtime, helping you become a sharper professional.
5. Relax and Reset Your Mind with Calm
Clearing your mind with practiced meditation can help reduce stress, increase focus, and develop a more positive mindset. One study found that mindfulness and meditation literally increases your brain size by creating more grey matter, the stuff responsible for memory, emotions, speech, and decision making. Many business-owners and entrepreneurs love the benefits of meditation, but find it difficult to get their minds to stop working. Having a specialized app, for this purpose can really make the difference.
The Calm meditation app sends you a new meditation practice every day with calming music and breathing patterns to relax your mind and help you find your Zen. It also offers meditations focused on various topics, such as gratitude, forgiveness, letting go, and resilience, along with guided sessions to help you get started.
It can be hard to find the time to invest in yourself when you’re busy building your career. But staying both mentally and physically healthy will lead to greater success in every area of your life. Keep your mind sharp and your body strong, with these apps, and, you are sure to notice some measurable benefits in your professional life, changing it for better forever.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.