Top 5 apps to boost your performance for those short on time

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Case Study:

Ben – in his late twenties – has been working at a law firm for 3 years now. It is a very high performing work environment. Through hard work, Ben managed to keep pace with his peers. But, Ben doesn’t want to just keep pace. He wants to excel by learning deep and wide, so that he can contribute more at work and develop his corporate career.

Ben knows that he needs to polish-up and learn a few new soft skills to take his career to the next level. Things like win-win negotiations, mental resilience, positive mental habits etc are some of the areas he wants to learn and explore. Unfortunately, given the high demands of his corporate career, he is unable to spend a copious amount of time exploring and researching these new topics and find relevant and targeted learning material to feed his curiosity.

How can Ben benefit from what is already available in the self-development marketplace without having a spend a small fortune?


Here are 5 apps Ben utilised to boost his learning performance, focus and general productivity amidst his busy corporate lifestyle.


Using Deepstash is as simple as picking areas in your life you want to improve on, selecting them, and letting Deepstash share a curation of ideas – from an area of your choosing – from some of the most respected mediums, all packaged into bite-sized, easy to absorb reads. Next time you have a spare 5 mins and find yourself reaching for your phone – try Deepstash instead of social media

Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind is the answer to any excuses you may have ever had for not meditating. Whether you’re a beginner or a mature practitioner, young or old, sitting on your desk, standing or lying down, have 5 mins or 30 mins to spare, this meditation app has something for everyone. A variety of options cater for almost any type of user. It’s a great tool to allow you to disconnect, and at the same time be present with your surroundings. Having used it consistently during our lunch breaks at work, we could not recommend this enough. Best of all – it’s free of charge.


Perhaps there’s no better way to describe it than in Moment’s own words, “[We help] people build healthier relationships with their phones”. Moment is an answer to the urge we get every few minutes to pick up our phones and scroll through social media. In a nutshell, Moment encourages users to have a fast from the phones. Over time, Moment tracks the fasting hours (in essence, the opposite of iPhone’s ‘Screen time’ function which is a lag indicator) and, for good measure if you’re really after a dopamine hit, it sends a congratulatory notification when you complete a fast.


Audible has long become the go-to for those who wanted to read books but lacked the time or motivation to pick one up. With hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, there’s something for everybody, particularly in the Health and Personal Development category. On a 30-min commute to work, Audible is the perfect productivity companion, and regular listeners can likely get through a title in a week or two. On a year long scale, that’s 50 titles, and countless insights to boost your productivity, all gained using time you might otherwise be wasting scrolling through social media


Blinks Labs GmbH, commonly known as Blinkist, is a book-summarising subscription service. The service provides summaries of over 3,000 bestselling non-fiction books, 15-minute reads, otherwise known as Blinks or book-in-blinks. The best way to use this service is as follows:

  1. Ascertain whether a book is worth reading: use the summarised version of the book to work out if it’s worthwhile exploring further in more detail. If it’s not worthwhile (or doesn’t make you interested in the topic/ concepts), you’d be able to know this within 15mins rather than having to spend hours going through the full book.

  2. Revisiting ideas and concepts very effectively: once you finish reading a book, you can use Blinkist to revisit the core themes, message and concepts in a very effective way. This is a great way to revisit concepts and topics that interest/ assist you the most.


With the aid of smartly used learning and self development apps, Ben was able to:

  1. Leverage his time more effectively: i.e. learn whilst travelling, learn whilst waiting at appointments/ meetings etc.

  2. Learn new things that would automatically get served up based on Ben’s topic exploration and reading habits.

The great thing is, without having to spend a lot of money or devote a lot of time, Ben was able to develop an incidental learning process through the use of the above apps. Ben is now learning both wide and deep. He is also regularly discovering new topics and concepts that he would not have come across using standard learning methods.

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