If you struggle with staying focused at work, you’re not alone. Even if you’ve already got a great routine to stop you wasting time, with so many calls, texts and emails coming in, not to mention the massive distraction of social media, it’s not surprising that many of us struggle to keep our minds on the job. And, once distracted, it can take as long as 25 minutes to re-focus on the task you abandoned. That’s the double-edged sword of technology – on the one hand, it’s made it easier for us to work and communicate, but on the other, it’s provided a multitude of distractions! Fortunately, technology also offers a number of solutions to help you maintain your focus and improve your overall productivity. Check out these clever ways of using technology and tools to improve your level of productivity at the workplace.
- Productivity Apps
Software and app developers understand the value of productivity, which is why they’ve developed a number of apps and programs. These apps can help you organise your tasks, keep track of the time spent on each task, keep notes, and collaborate with others, etc. These productivity apps are designed to assist you with a number of tasks and can help keep you and your team on track. Some of the most popular apps available today are:
- Workflowy – This is one of the most popular productivity apps available today. It helps you keep your ideas and notes organised and allows you to create a mind map of sorts. Workflowy is comprehensive and ideal for when you’re working on large projects. It is browser based but there’s an app for iOS as well.
- Trello – This is a very popular project management app and is used by big and small businesses around the work. Trello has a visual-card based interface which is very user friendly and effective. You can easily manage a number of projects at the same time through this interface.
- Asana – Asana is similar to Workflowy and is a task list manager. It helps you organise notes, projects, communications between different team members, and keep track of tasks. It’s also an easy to use platform and it helps you maintain focus on your project instead of spending time emailing other team members and sharing information.
These are just some of the many apps and programs you can use to improve your overall productivity online. Just browse online to find an app that best suits your requirements and start using it today. You’ll see a massive difference in your overall productivity.
- Personal Productivity Apps
There are some mobile apps that help you eliminate distractions and get work done at a steady pace. These apps are personal productivity tools rather than programs that can be utilised by entire teams. Here are some that can help you on a day-to-day basis:
- Momento – When thoughts are crowding your head, you can’t really focus on the task at hand. You can either force yourself to focus while your mind is rebelling or use an app to note down these thoughts and empty your mind. Momento does just that. You can enter all thoughts, ideas, and distractions into the app and free your mind of distractions; that’ll allow you to focus on your work once again.
- Notes – Personal note taking apps and programs like Evernote and MS OneNote are ideal for this purpose. You can save research pages, write down your thoughts, collaborate with others, and store all the information in cloud so it’s accessible from your other devices as well.
- do – This is a personal task manager or organisation app. All you need to do is create an account, download an app, and start scheduling tasks. These tasks can be small or big so you can micromanage your work time effectively. You can maintain small lists for everyday and get alerts when the time for scheduled tasks arrives. You can even schedule small breaks to attend to your communications and social media.
- Time Planner – This is also a personal productivity that helps you schedule task on a daily basis. Everyone from stay-at-home parents to professionals can use this simple app to schedule different tasks. At the end of the day, the app will provide a pie chart that shows you how much time you spend on different tasks. This information will help you improve your overall productivity.
- Desktop Productivity Tools
You don’t need to reach for your mobile phone in order to access productivity apps. Most mobile apps have desktop versions as well. Here are some desktop productivity apps you might want to help you keep your work organised.
- SaneBox – One of the biggest hurdles to modern productivity is constant communication. Most people fear that they might miss important communications from their employers, clients, and colleagues, and check emails immediately. That can easily become a distraction and causes you to waste time. SaneBox is a brilliant app that studies your communications habits and accurately determines which emails are relevant to you and which aren’t. Important emails will be shown to you while unimportant emails will be sorted in another folder for you to look at later.
- StayFocused – Social media is one of the biggest distractions in modern workplaces. StayFocused is a Chrome extension that limits the amount of time you can spend on social media. You can create a list of websites you’re not allowed to access during your working hours. This extension will block those websites and allow you to focus on your job.
- Toggl – Toggl is a time-tracking tool. You can click it on when you start working on something and click it off when you’re done. The timer will save all the data so you so you can look at the information later and to see how much time you spent on a particular task. This will also help you keep track of how much time you wasted on distractions.
While technology can be a distraction, it can also be an asset. You just need to use this asset correctly to get the best results. If you follow the tips mentioned above, technology will no longer be a hindrance to your workflow and productivity – and you’ll find yourself getting so much more done!
Author bio: Ashley Andrews is an Inbound Marketing Strategist at Activia Training, a UK-based training provider specialising in improving delegates’ workplace performance in business skills, management development and IT applications. Ashley is passionate about sales and management issues, and regularly blogs about these – and many other topics – on the Activia blog.