Best Productivity Apps to Keep You Focused and On Task
One of the biggest advantages to working at home is that you can be your own supervisor. But this can also be one of your biggest disadvantages if you have difficulty motivating yourself to be productive at any given time.
Whether it’s organization, time management, or anything in between, there’s an app to solve any of the productivity problems you may have.
Read on to discover apps that work wonders in helping you make the best use of your time, day in and day out.
Sometimes the best approach is the simplest, and you’ve undoubtedly heard recommendations that you make a list before.
That takes up valuable time – luckily, though, it can take a lot less.
Wunderlist and Todoist are list apps that can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be. You can make a to-do or a grocery list, set reminders, and even share tasks and projects with others.
Another great option is Pomotodo, which is both a to-do list and a Pomodoro timer – combining both this and the next kind of app.
Time-Management and Pomodoro Apps
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably tried blocking off long periods of time as when you’ll “get stuff done.”
But it’s hard to use that time well.
One way to solve time-management issues is by using the Pomodoro Technique, which has you focus on a single task for (traditionally) 25 minutes at a time with short breaks in between.
There are plenty of apps to make this easier. FocusList, while only for Apple products, has a straightforward interface and will keep track of how much time you’re dedicating to each task.
My favorite in this vein, though, might be Forest. With this app, every 25-minute block plants a virtual tree as a visual representation of your productivity – and spending the app’s virtual currency will prompt the developers to plant real trees as well.
You get more productive and help the environment!
Finally, if you want a better idea of your distractions, RescueTime is like a productivity audit. It tracks your time on particular websites and apps so you get real data on how your time is spent online.
This can be a hard truth to face, but it’s useful to know where your bad habits take you before you try to fix them.
Build Good Habits
Another way to fix bad habits is to form good ones.
Momentum helps you focus on one task at a time and is geared toward forming habits. Each day you accomplish a goal will build on a streak – building momentum until the habit is truly ingrained.
The benefits of getting organized are another article entirely, but the bottom line is you’ll want to consider some of these apps to make you more efficient at working from home.
Email organizers like Newton enhance the way you tackle your inbox, letting you bounce emails to be reminded at a later time and even schedule replies.
Pocket lets you save anything you come across for later so that you don’t have to be sucked in while you work, and EverNote is the all-in-one tool for organizing your life (also warranting its own write-up).
Distraction Blocking Apps
Finally, sometimes the simplest way to increase productivity is to just block out the things that distract you.
And SiteBlock (along with dozens of similar apps and extensions) will stop you from browsing to unproductive places online.
These kinds of apps give you another layer between distractions and you – which is wonderful, because self-control isn’t always enough.
Being more productive is one of the most common goals I hear from people around me, especially those working at home. But not having a supervisor hovering over you also means you’re free to choose how you want to supervise yourself. Maybe lists aren’t for you, but Pomodoro is. Maybe it’s the other way around.
Whatever your productivity needs are, though, these and dozens of other apps out there can help you get started.
About the Author:
Isaac works from home and has helped companies all over the world over the last 7 years develop and implement winning marketing strategies. You can connect with Isaac directly via LinkedIn to discuss more productivity hacks, marketing and working from home.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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