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Apps to improve productivity and stay focused

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Digital technology has taken a hold over our work and leisure times so much that sometimes we blur the lines between what time to allot to job-related tasks and what to leisure. The downtime of 15 minutes sometimes turns into a 2-hour mega break. Every time you use the smartphone and you get lost in the quagmire of jumping from one window to another without any concept of where you started and why you ended where you are; then you do need some help. Perhaps, downloading apps to improve productivity should do the trick.

6 Incredible Apps to Improve Productivity 

The best way to break the cycle of going nowhere is by using productivity apps that remind you that time is wasting and you are in the wrong lane of the internet bus ride.

Productivity-apps-for-entrepreneurs-increase-productivity

ManicTime

ManicTime automatically records your computer usage. It tracks which apps and websites you have visited and for how long. It remembers which documents you've worked on. This kind of data recording helps you keep track of work hours and how much time you have spent away from work.

With this, it is easy to bill clients based on hours spent on their work, if so desired. ManicTime is not cloud-based; hence all your data is stored on your machine. It tracks usage offline too. You can use ManicTime to integrate with other task-based platforms like Github. It is easy to maintain a timesheet and share it with others with this app.

Your data usage can be used to generate an analysis report on your online presence. It is a good tool to make optimal use of time, resources and information.

1-3-5.com

It is a time management tool used to accomplish nine tasks for the day. The app allows you to prioritize your day according to the 1-3-5 rule. One big task, three medium tasks and five small tasks can be listed according to what all you want to do for the day and in what order and importance.

There is no app to download. It works on any device on your browser. It is easy and fast to use, and you can create your own list or use the 135 templates. Create your own heading, rearrange tasks according to priority.

The basic list is free; the premium comes with some additional features and costs around $2.5 per month.

Use app blocking and parental control

If you are in the habit of jumping over to social media sites every 15 minutes then making use of a blocking app makes sense. Zero Willpower is one app blocker that shuts down distracting websites and apps for a set time period.

By default, the app blocks 9gag, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Twitch, VK, and YouTube. At present, it is available for iOS only and costs around $1.99

Parental Blocks

A simpler method is to use a parental block. Go to Settings>General>Restrictions, and you can block the websites you want (Mac, iOS). Windows users can find it under Settings > Accounts > Family and other people. Android users need to download the TrendMicroMobile Security and Antivirus app

Digital Assistants

One can use Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana to set reminders about tasks every two to three hours. It is a way to ensure someone keeps tab on your work progress and is also a push to get on with it if you are procrastinating.

Stay Focusd  

We all have gone through those times of self-sabotaging when we have to meet a deadline. It is like we have a death wish not to meet that timeline. For such a situation get on to Stay Focusd. It works on Google chrome as an extension and is free.

It restricts the time you spend on certain websites, and once the allotted time is up, it blocks access to them. It locks you out of your favorite sites and with its Nuclear Option you cannot undo it when you are tempted to cheat.

“It's highly configurable, allowing you to block or allow entire sites, specific subdomains, specific paths, specific pages, even specific in-page content (videos, games, images, forms, etc),” says the website for Stay Focusd.

Available on: Chrome for free

RescueTime 

It is a time tracker app for PC, MAcAndroid and Linux. It works on goal setting. You can set your productivity goals for the day and at the end of the work day, a report is generated on how productive you were on your set goals. It works in the background and traces all your activities on the device. It automatically categorizes your activities into social platforms, websites and projects.

The graphic analytical tools trace your important to urgent task output. It allows integration with other apps to improve productivity.

The app is a good tool to focus on your high energy time and know when you get distracted. You can chart out your productivity time and improve based on the data.

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