Lost Focus? Here Are 5 Apps With Tech to Help You Become More Productive
People in workplaces all around the world are reporting they find themselves bored and distracted. According to University of California Department of Informatics Professor Gloria Mark, digital distractions are one key reason for a drop in productivity, which can lead to boredom. So, what can be done about this? Well, we can’t eliminate all your problems, but we can offer 5 apps that you should check out to help you concentrate and get stuff done.
Hive is an app you should definitely check out if you are trying to manage a project with a group of people (all possibly working remotely). After syncing up with Hive, team members can check to-do lists communicate in real time check progress on the latest projects, share files, and more.
Tasks that are assigned to a specific person come up in a personal to-do list whereas overall tasks are separate. This helps you to stay accountable and prioritize your personal to-do list.
Hive is free to download, but if you want to use it as a team it starts at about US$12 per month per user, not cheap – but very worth it for some. Hive solo is free for up to two users.
Some call it “multitasking,” but that’s not what’s were doing. What we do is really ‘task switching,’ which involves throwing all of one’s brain power back and forth from one task to another – and it’s exhausting.
Luckily, there is one simple solution that millions of people have been turning to over the past 5 years or so: blocking apps. The idea of a productivity website blocker is to use technology against itself. Blocksite is free and easy to use. After the download, it syncs across devices and then you go to the settings menu and start deciding how you wish to filter your day.
You might need to knuckle down and get a variety of tasks done in the hours between 9:00 a.m. and noon. If so, you can use the Blocksite app to block the entire internet during those morning hours or block certain sites – be they social media or some other distracting web content.
A student could choose to block whatever popular smartphone game is a temptation during the time they should be working on homework, while also choosing to block social media during those times. All of these choices are up to the individual who downloads Blocksite.
Isn’t it about time reading got a tech upgrade? Well, with this website/app you merely have to drag and drop your file format which can include anything from EPUB to DOCX (TXT, RFT, and RFTD are good, too) and you will get a newly-developed type of font where the most important letters are in bold to catch your eye. Below is a sample of “bionic reading:”
Professor Mark says, “Back in 2004 we followed American information workers around with stopwatches and timed every action. They switched their attention every three minutes on average. In 2012, we found that the time spent on onecomputer screen before switching to another computer screen was one minute15 second. By the summer of 2014 it was an average of 59.5 seconds.”
Google Docs is perhaps one of our favorite things ever! When it first got started in March 2006; the power of the web was still not fully understood (this was more than a year before the iPhone; remember) and people weren’t really sure how to use Google Docs. There were doubts as to whether this latest Google thing would be a success. But it’s proved more than a success, it’s been world-changing.
Through the Cloud, you can communally work on docs; and Google makes it easy to attach links for images, videos, files; etc. –Or you can even import CSV into Google Sheets. Other great functions include the ability to download documents as PDFs and edit them online; it’s great how comments in a doc directed at a specific user triggers an email notification to that user; and how securely sharing files with people outside your company is easy. We love Google Docs, and we love that it’s absolutely free.
Brain.fm is an app designed for music lovers…but especially those who need music to aid in their work/life balance. Using scientific research gained from the last several decades of intensive study into the science of sound; Brain.fm plays music you need for work and rest – chilled tunes for relaxation or a short nap; deeper sounds for deeper sleep, or even music calibrated to help you focus better on work!
Brain.fm is free to download but if you want to go up to pro it starts at about US$7. That’s a price that might sound steep…but fans will say it’s definitely worth it.