“Great companies obsess over productivity, not efficiency,”
– Michael Mankins, Harvard Business Review (HBR)
In a bustling environment, maintaining focus can be challenging. There are phone calls and emails to return, not to mention the allure of an instant text, email alerts flashing up on your screen, or a friend’s Instagram story. Minor disruptions may appear inconsequential, but they may inflict damage on your productivity and significantly damage the integrity of your performance. Remaining on track is one of the most complicated tasks for people who are new to working from home. Your house is full of distractions that can take you away from your work at any time, adversely affecting your productivity. We came from a culture where interruptions are common, which can be detrimental to productivity. Technological advancements such as our gadgets add to the distraction. Many people are so used to being interrupted at work that when they aren’t, they go out of their way to find one. Small-business owners’ performance might be hindered by distraction and continual multitasking.
Furthermore, amidst the current COVID-19 crisis, our notions of productivity are transforming. Working from home during the coronavirus pandemic is seeming to be a daunting task for many employees due to the absence of traditional office space and casual conversations. Several employees are seeking ways to reduce a workplace that now includes distractions such as childcare, domestic tasks, and in-home entertainment alternatives such as TV and radio, as millions of professionals work remotely for the first time.
The current market is teeming with productivity softwares with their own functions and benefits. This two-part article attempts to select the best of the best but still ended up with a quite a lot. With that, this first part gives you four of the best productivity softwares available today.
According to Freedom, you lose 23 minutes every time you check an email, open social media, respond to notification or any other distraction gets in the way of your workflow. This means that just five messages during the day might cost you nearly two hours of productivity, according to a Microsoft research from 2007.
With more than one million subscribers who like it, the Freedom website blocker app helps you reclaim your focus and increase your productivity.
Most distraction blockers only work on the device you’re now using. Freedom, on the other hand, can block distractions—both websites and apps—on all your devices at the same time. No more banning Facebook on your computer only to open it on your phone seconds later. Blocking out distracting apps and overwhelming notifications is a simple and effective way to stay focused. When you start a session in freedom, all distractions are restricted, and an unlimited number of distracting and time-wasting websites are blocked.
Throughout your devices, Freedom eliminates digital distraction. If the entire Internet is distracting you, you have the option of blocking it all. You can either start one session at a time or schedule your “distraction-free” ahead of time. To keep your focus in check, you can block websites, set durations, and specify times. Create as many blocklists as you’d like before starting or scheduling a session.
There’s a lockdown mode that prevents you from editing your blocklists while a session is running. There are also focus sounds available as an option, which are essentially ambient music backgrounds from coffee shops or nature.
Lastly, it has a special ‘Locked Mode’ that prohibits you from interrupting a blocked session if your courage begins to fade, which it will certainly do throughout the day. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows computers, as well as Android and iOS devices and the Chrome browser. There is also a free trial available.
Freedom pricing starts at $6.99/month for the premium version.
This is a simple productivity tool that will provide you with a whole new approach to doing duties effectively and efficiently. It was created for all the creative folks out there who value productivity yet are afraid of wasting time. If you use this software, you will be able to remove the word “procrastination” from your dictionary.
Forest is an adorable software that can help you with that. It’s a focus tool that combines the Pomodoro technique with interactivity to incentivize people to remain dominant in their chores. When you’re ready to work, you sow seeds, set a timer, and the tree grows once you exit the app. Your plant will die if you open a banned app during a focused sprint. As you keep your attention timer going, you’ll see photos of your plants flourishing. If you don’t succeed, your plants will wilt.
You’ll eventually develop a forest of trees as a memento of all the amount of time you invest in having things accomplished rather than scrolling around on social media. Additionally, if you pay for the app, your attention time may be used to help finance real trees through a partnership with Trees for the Future.
Forest also offers a Chrome extension where you can grow trees on your computer as well. This one works more like the other apps in this list but with an option to load distracting sites if you want to.
Forest pricing is free on Chrome and Android and $1.99 for iPhone. Android Pro version costs $1.99, one-time, and offers syncing across devices and more tree varieties.
This software will provide you with a detailed report on how you spend your time. Some of their paid features include the ability to block distracting websites at certain times of the day, track offline activity such as meetings and phone calls, and keep track of one’s daily achievements. You can also set alerts and goals for the time you have spent on a specific app.
You can choose to prohibit distracting apps or anything else that hasn’t been labeled as productive in FocusTime. This combines with the information you’ve already given RescueTime, allowing you to label apps and webpages as productive, distracting, or extremely distracting. It’s a terrific approach to block distractions without having to create a separate block list, especially if you’re already looking for a time tracker.
RescueTime also offers comprehensive reports and tools to help you increase your productivity. Because the time tracker is automated, there is no need to manually enter data for all the applications, websites, and other software you use. The software will assist you in identifying time syncs and setting goals to improve your focus. It’s available on iOS and Android, and you can try it out for free to see how well it works for you.
This software uses artificial intelligence to create music that will allow you to focus, unwind, and relieve stress. One of the best things about Brain.fm is how you can give it a try for just a few minutes and get results right away. This music library was developed to improve the quality of your focus, relaxation, and sleep significantly. In layman’s terms, Brain.fm “converts auditory neuroscience into tailored brainwave training regimens,” which implies you’ll notice much difference in the first 15–30 minutes of using it. It contains sounds that can cause your brain to react differently to other music, all with the goal of guiding you into a state of mind free of distractions. Brain.fm experts have done trials in collaboration with academic researchers to determine the impact of music frequencies and technologies on the brain.
As a result, this app gives you access to unique therapeutic music that induces a strong neural phase. The first five sessions of Brain.fm are free, and the app is available for both iPhone and Android. Listen to a few sample soundtracks before committing to a membership, which costs $4 per month on average. Given the potential for major benefits, this isn’t a bad deal.
Want more of these productivity softwares? Tune in to the second part next week for six more of the interesting apps that can help you boost your performance and fight work distractions.
Written By: Frances De Guzman