Amazon Prime Day's deep discounts were a boon to sales of the e-commerce company's Echo smart speakers. The Echo Dot was one of the "best sellers worldwide" on Monday and Tuesday, according to an Amazon press release.
In 2017, the regularly priced $49.99 speaker was the most popular product purchased on Prime Day.
The Echo line of devices — which includes the Echo Spot, Echo Show and Echo Look — are enabled with Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant. Surveys show most consumers are using their smart speakers to do pretty simple tasks, like listening to music or following the news.
But savvy consumers who want to get the most out of their purchase can take an advantage of Alexa "skills," which are software functions (created by third-party developers). There are 40,000 available in Amazon's skills store.
This skill provides soothing music for quiet thinking, yoga or meditation, according to its 1,000 reviews.
Quiet contemplation can be a tool for success: "Everything begins and ends with stillness," Oprah Winfrey told Fast Company in 2015 of her morning routine, "a conscious awareness of my presence within the greater presence of all...."
This Alexa skill walks users through five minutes worth of exercise. "This is a great way to wedge some cardio into my busy, unpredictable schedule," one reviewer on Amazon wrote. "So far, all of the exercise can be done in a small area."
From Mark Zuckerberg to Mark Cuban, many tech execs and billionaires swear by morning exercise as a way to be more productive during the day.
3. Chop Chop
This skill offers step-by-step tutorials for chopping produce, from breaking down mangoes to slicing bell peppers. "I'm not very skilled in the kitchen so using this as a quick reference when cutting up veggies is really helpful," one user wrote on Amazon.
Cooking at home can boost your budget and there may be psychological benefits to doing mindless activities like chopping. Focusing on a simple task can allow your mind to wander to creative new territory, according to research by the University of California, Santa Barbara. It could be a reason Bill Gates volunteers to do his family's dishes every night.
In sessions that are three to eight minutes long, this skill instructs listeners on how to meditate.
Meditation is said to improve focus and cognition over the long term, and many successful entrepreneurs favor it. Billionaire hedge fund magnate Ray Dalio, who practices Transcendental Meditation, says it's "probably been the single most important reason for whatever success I've had."
"I enjoy guessing the definition and spelling before it is given," one Amazon reviewer wrote. "Mini-trivia game for me!"
With 3,089 positive reviews, this skill is a favorite of Alexa users. And if you're a trivia buff, this skill is for you too. Each day, the skill will ask a new trivia question "from arts and entertainment to literature and science," according to its description.
7. TED Talks
And of course, don't forget the CNBC Flash Briefing for the latest in business news.
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