Ever get the feeling that time is just slipping away. You spend your entire day working and you still haven’t accomplished enough. You end up having to transfer to-do lists from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, only to watch them continuously increase, while spending countless hours just watching your inbox fill up. Well, at least you’re not alone.
Even though today’s digital world is making it harder to separate your work life from your personal life by bombarding you with emails on all devices at all hours; it’s simultaneously providing you with better organizational tools to help you boost your productivity.
Here is a step-by-step roadmap on how to recover your productivity:
1. Admit your Weaknesses
This one’s for those of us who don’t even realize the time we’ve wasted on social media, shopping catalogues, and any other time-killing site. Rescue Time is a time tracking app that monitors what websites and applications you're using and for how long. Instead of having to manually input your own hours working on a certain project or site, it automates it all for you and even spits out a weekly analysis. They say acceptance is the first step to recovery, here’s to an app that’ll help you realize just how much time you’re wasting in a day, and will help you take your first step towards increasing your productivity.
2. Find your Happy Place
Turn up the beats or whatever it is that you need to get into the zone. Noisli is a great app that lets you customize different background noises such as rain, wind or a coffee shop buzz to create an au natural environment right in your office. You can even experiment by mixing different sounds to find the combination that creates the best concentration environment for you.
3. Written Word is Stronger than Spoken
Sometimes writing a goal or a to-do list down, and the satisfaction from crossing it out or giving ourselves a nice little check, is just the boost we need to keep on working. Evernote is a great way to keep all of your notes organized while providing a clean paper-esque format. With the option to sync all your digital devices, screenshot, create reminders, add tags, create voice memos, share notes and much more, it makes sure we can organize our thoughts and notes as effectively as possible.
4. Cut the Excess
Here’s a no brainer, but oddly enough something hardly any of us ever do. Our entire life is guided by notifications. Emails, texts, Facebook, office chats, iCal and many many more constantly sending us updates and pop ups that ultimately distract us from the work we’re currently trying to produce. Limit your distractions by turning off or simply limiting these notifications. Set specific times during your day to address emails, allowing you to focus on the work you are currently producing. A good trick is to put your window into full screen mode. By hiding all the excess apps surrounding the screen you're working on, you’ll be better able to concentrate on your task at hand. Works like a gem!
5. Keep on Cutting
Chop those office emails in half or completely eliminate them with this office-wide chat application. Plank recently fell in love with Slack and we’ve been addicted ever since. The app lets you create many different channels of group chats which you can personalize with different teams. It’s even fully integrated with Dropbox, Twitter, Google Drive and many other services, so it combines basic office functions into one neat app. It allows all content to be searched for quickly with its own search box, and of course there is direct personal messaging. Did I already mention we’re in love?
6. If all else fails…
The road to recovery and gaining back your productivity is not an easy one. We all slip up. Here are two apps that will catch you during your fall and will help you get back on track!
Stay Focusd let’s you limit the amount of time you spend on a certain site per day. For example, for the Facebook addicts out there you can set a predetermined amount of time that you are allowing yourself to surf Facebook, let’s say an hour. When that hour is up, Facebook will be blocked for the rest of the day. It’s a great way to cut yourself off- without having to kill the lifeline yourself.
Another personal favourite is SelfControl. It lets you block your own access to distracting sites and applications for a set period of time by creating a personalized blacklist. Once sites are added and the timer is set, there’s no way to stop the application. With nothing else to browse or surf, I guess you're just going to have produce some work.