5 Apps To Help You Focus at Work

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Whether you are working in an office, at home, or at a coffee shop, there are distractions all around you. Notifications keep dinging from our phones, the person in the cubicle next to you is having an extremely loud personal conversation, or the internet looks far too appealing to concentrate on any work. Luckily this problem plagues everyone, and people have come up with some great solutions to combat the productivity thief!

Use A Time Tracker

When the clock is ticking, you are more motivated to stay on task. The Pomodoro Technique has been hailed as a great way to keep your focus and track the time you spend on task. The technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo. It uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, which are separated by short breaks. These intervals are named pomodoros, the plural in English of the Italian word pomodoro (tomato), after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.

Focus Booster is a great application to help you use the Pomodoro Technique both on your desktop or tracking through your phone. Through the app, not only can it help you stay focused, but it has a built in way to keep your timesheet. You won’t have to sit at your desk wondering what it was you did all day when you fill out your timesheet to turn in, the answer will already be right there inside the app.

Block Distractions

If you just can’t trust yourself to avoid Facebook for an hour or stay away from your favorite website or blog, it’s time to bring in some help. Cold Turkey is an application available both on desktop and on your phone to block websites that are common distractions for you. You can create schedules for yourself and customize the websites that are blocked during those time frames. For example, if you still want to be able to browse through Facebook during your lunch hour, you can schedule it to open up during that time frame. It will lock back up when the time frame is over so you can get back to being focused on your work.

Use White Noise

If you have a noisy neighbor in the office, or the coffee shop, or your kids are being crazy downstairs, white noise can help drown out the distracting noises and help you get back to work. There are a ton of different white noise generators like the aptly named White Noise app. You can choose any types of sound that are best to help you concentrate. If you are in a coffee shop or an office, I’d definitely use headphones with your white noise though, otherwise, you may end up being the noisy neighbor for someone else.

Pick a To Do List

There are a ton of different to do list applications available. The best thing to do is try each of the top ones out for a few days and see which one you like better. A great to do list application will have the ability to separate your tasks into folders or categories so when you are ready to focus on one area of your job, you can just view the tasks associated with that. You won’t be distracted by the fact you need to make a doctor’s appointment later, or you have to pick something up on your way home. Wunderlist, Tick Tick and Todoist are all great options.

Organize Your Thoughts & Process

Brainstorming, keeping track of ideas and thoughts you have, and putting it all together in a plan can be difficult sometimes. Using an app like Trello can help you keep track of your thoughts, and move those thoughts through execution processes. Trello can be split up into various boards, and each board has its own lists. You can have a list for interviews you need to schedule, and as you schedule them you can move them to different lists like “scheduled” and “not going to work out”. You are able to organize all of your thoughts into an easy to track system that will keep your projects moving forward.

Using these applications can really help your productivity skyrocket, and help you work smarter. Give a few of them a try and let us know how it works out!