Where did all my time go?
We’ve all been there. Trying to focus on an important task and you just can’t help but flick to Facebook and have a scroll, or perhaps have a chat with the person sitting next to you.
It’s natural for our minds to wander, especially when modern-day life is so hectic and full of distractions.
We’ve gathered up a list of helpful digital tools and apps to boost your productivity.
Get in the zone.
It’s hard to solely concentrate on one thing when there’s a lot going on around you. We’re talking about office chatter, notifications pinging, sirens outside or that annoying song that keeps popping up on the radio.
Brain.fm is a cool tool that boasts AI-generated music, which almost instantly helps you to focus on the task at hand, whether that’s drifting into a slumber, making progress on your thesis or battling through your inbox.
Also, who knew robots were so good at composing?
Ever think that you’d be able to work better if you were sat on a sunny beach, rather than stuck in a stuffy office? Well, there isn’t an app that can completely teleport you to far and beyond, but Noizio has a crack at it. You can adjust the settings to play tranquil sounds of nature or the quiet murmurings of a Parisian cafe.
Meditation is said to have a huge number of benefits when practised consistently and regularly. We love the Headspace app because it makes it easy and straightforward to take a moment to recharge, regain focus and improve stress levels.
Love doing more.
In this fast-paced world, we all feel like we should be doing more with our days, but just where do those hours go?
A cute concept and an effective way to claw back some of your time, Forest encourages you to put down your phone by planting a virtual tree that grows when you’re not tapping away at your screen. Now, stay with us, the gamification and charming graphics in this app are so enchanting that you do feel a little heartbroken when you grab your mobile and your shrub withers away.
If you ever wonder what on Earth you spent your day doing, RescueTime shows you the cold, hard facts. Running in the background of your computer and mobile devices, it tracks what websites you’re browsing and how long you’re spending on them. Over time, you’ll typically start to reclaim back some of that lost time by thinking twice before you “just quickly” watch one more YouTube video.
Following along the same lines, Focus Booster runs Pomodoro-style focus sessions (small chunks of time dedicated to a task) to help you monitor the time you’re spending on different activities. As well as being useful for productivity, it can also help freelancers know how long they have worked on a client project and how much to charge their customers.
Cut out the distractions.
Often, it’s not entirely our fault when we struggle to stay on task. We live in a world that has constant distractions, from social media updates to tempting targetted advertisements.
At the end of the day, we’re only human and we’re going to be tempted to spend our precious time online shopping, indulging in Twitter debates, and even looking at adorable cat videos. With Freedom, you can temporarily block out all of those websites that you find yourself wasting minutes on every day. You can even set it to ‘Locked Mode’ so your procrastinating self is prohibited from changing the settings.
Especially for Mac users, Self-Control gives you back a little uh… self-control. You can blacklist websites for a certain period of time, or go one step further and whitelist sites so that you can only visit those during your work sesh. We like the idea of this because even though you remember to block Instagram, there are a million other distractions out there waiting for you.
For Windows Users, Cold Turkey is a great alternative to Mac’s Self-Control. However, it has the added feature of completely locking you out of your device for a set period. This is wonderful for those who want to stop being a slave to the screen during their spare time or even those who have a tendency to stay up all night gaming, working or surfing the web.
How do you stay focused? We’d love to hear some of your tips on LinkedIn.