by JareD newman
alexa can do more than tell you whether it’s going to rain or help you
order a pizza. While nearly a third of Americans own smart speakers, such
as the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod—a number that’s expected to rise to 48% by the end of the year, according to Adobe—
most of us use these devices for mundane requests like playing music or
checking the temperature. To get the AI brainpower behind these devices—
Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Siri—to work harder for you, start employing
these magic words.
instead of clicking through a calendar app, ask your voice assistant to block off your schedule.
you can specify the date, time, and event name in your request, and alexa can even invite
contacts to your events. (for anything else, you’ll need an old-fashioned app.)
this seems like an obvious one, but few people actually do it. background noise is a great way
to drown out distractions and get into a work mind-set. try asking for different kinds of noise—
like rain, a fireplace, or forest sounds—to see what works best for you.
if you find yourself slipping down a twitter or instagram rabbit hole too often during the day,
ask your assistant to rein you in. alexa users can also say, “start tomato helper” to start a version
of the pomodoro technique, a popular time-management strategy that encourages switching
frequently between work and break times.
amazon Echo, google home, and apple homepod all beat dinky smartphone speakers
when you need to be hands-free during a call. they’ll even display your regular phone number
to the other party.
if you have multiple amazon Echo or google home speakers around your office, use this command to record and send out a one-way message to all your colleagues. home-office workers:
it’s also handy for telling the kids to “quiet down, please.”
procrastinating . . .
in 15 minutes”
– Peter Bregman Leadership Guru, and Host of Ford Transit Connect and FastCo Works new productivity video series, “The Specialists.”
What is the most important outcome for you to achieve over the next 12 months? That’s
your Big Arrow and you can use it as a ;lter for your attention. If something moves your
Big Arrow forward, it’s a productive use of your time. If not, consider letting it go.;