Around the world, many companies have now shifted to a remote set-up due to the ongoing global pandemic. And while this has certainly allowed many organizations to stay afloat and continue operations, working from home has its own set of challenges. For one, an article on CNBC reveals that many workers find it harder to be productive in non-office settings, due to the many distractions around. Technology is often the culprit, but technology is also what can help you focus too.
That being said, here are five apps to help improve your focus at work:
The Pomodoro approach is one of the most widely used techniques for productivity, and there are now digital pomodoro timers available. As the name implies, the technique is based on what is called a “pomodoro,” which is essentially a 25-minute work period followed by a 5-minute break. The idea for this technique is to break down large tasks into smaller tasks that you do during the 25 minutes. During that time, you should give your full attention to the task at hand — resisting distractions such as checking social media or letting your thoughts wander. After four pomodoro sessions, you can give yourself a break of up to 30 minutes.
Todoist helps you figure out which among your tasks are most important and which can wait. Staying focused becomes easier since you can build a task list, prioritize tasks, and even collaborate with co-workers on shared tasks. You can add due dates/times and even create sub-tasks. To make things more specific and organized, Todoist lets you separate tasks into broader projects such as “work” or “personal.” For example, freelancers can create a separate project for each of their clients, add tasks under those projects, and even share the projects with the clients. Todoist is available for download both on the web and on the app store.
Headspace is a great mediation app that offers guided sessions for beginners and less-structured programs for those who are more experienced. The structured courses give you the experience of being in an in-person class, to help you maintain the habit faster. The app’s interface is warm and approachable, with fun drawings and an organized library of courses — including courses dedicated to improving productivity and focus. In addition, a post by Gala Bingo recommends meditation apps as an easy and convenient way to practice mindfulness. Through these tools, you can reduce work-related stress and boost your mood — both important factors when it comes to focusing.
SelfControl would have to be the most hardcore focus app for Mac users. You make a list of websites to block, set the dial for how long your block period is, then start. Simple, right? But the reason it’s such a Spartan option is that it’s impossible to undo. You can close the app, delete it, or even reboot your computer — but the blocks will still be in place. The only way to disable the blocking is to reinstall MacOS, which means deleting all your apps, settings, and documents. So if you’re someone who blocks out sites but has a hard time committing, this is for you.
If you miss the days of taking your work to a café, Coffitivity helps you replicate that experience. There is a 2012 study that explains how “a moderate level of ambient noise is conducive to creative cognition.” This basically means that the chatter and clatter that we hear around us at coffee shops allows us to focus on work more. Coffitivity doesn’t just offer common café sounds — you can choose from specific sounds, such as “Morning Murmur,” “Lunchtime Lounge,” and “University Undertones.”
When you’re working from home, you want to be as productive as possible during the work hours you set for yourself. Aside from using apps, there are also other ways you can increase your productivity.