Staying focused on work is challenging in office environments. When too many distractions get in the way, our willpower gets depleted and fails to maintain concentration. As a result, we waste time on checking email, scrolling news feeds in social media, reacting to every message in group chats, and cyberloafing.
Use smart productivity tools to break this trend, defeat procrastination, and regain your focus. They will provide support to your self-control and help you develop productive habits. There are multiple types of tools and methods they are based on, so we’ve prepared a list of the most helpful solutions for staying productive and efficient.
This time-tracking and work management tool provides you with important information on how you’re spending your time. This information allows you to work on your efficiency by optimizing your work process. Time-track data allows to review what activities are productive and what are not, see which work assignments take the most part of work time, and figure out what parts of your work process are a waste of time and need optimization.
actiTIME has a native mobile app that allows you to track time and review your results on the go. This timesheet app is available on iOS and Android and works as an addition to the desktop version. Lightweight and convenient, it allows you to automatically count time with a timer, see colorful time-track charts for various periods, and enter both work and leave time. The app works offline and automatically syncs the data when an Internet connection is available.
2. Cold Turkey
It’s often so hard to resist checking social media, answering all messages, and laughing at all the fun stuff your friends are sending you. And if you’re a fan of video games, you’re probably facing an even harder challenge. Sometimes it’s better to block the distraction out entirely, and that’s where this tool can help.
The app blocks apps, websites, the entire Internet, and even the entire computer. In its strict mode enabled by default, there’s no way to cheat the block – it just can’t be turned off. So you have no other options than focus on work and get it done. If this is too much for you, just disable the locking feature, and engage your willpower.
It’s easier to stay focused when everything is planned in advance. This app helps you organize your to-dos, prioritize your tasks so that you don’t overlook anything, and get things done with less effort. Wunderlist reminds you of important to-dos and allows you to work on your tasks together with coworkers, friends and family.
The app is available on Windows and Mac OS workstations and on various mobile devices. All to-do lists are synchronized across them so that you can access your tasks from anywhere and get reminded at the desk and on the go.
Working on a team’s productivity is hardly possible without organizing active communication in it. This simple app creates a comfortable environment for communicating on work tasks: standups, regular check-ins, and goal tracking. The tool is indispensable for remote and distributed teams where work requires more organization efforts than in traditional office environments.
Jell allows to organize daily standups to stay updated on what everyone on the team is working on. Often, daily standups are not enough, and if this is your case, you can set up custom check-ins to collect necessary information from your team on the regular basis. To inform your team on the big picture, use OKR feature: set up team goals and OKRs, and link daily activities of your team members to the company’s long-term goals.
Speaking of long-term goals, organizing work around milestones and objectives is an important step in improving teams’ productivity. This tool is designed for creating roadmaps and visualizing your work plans. Different views, intuitive interfaces and easy visualizations add clarity and simplicity to the planning process. Flexible and customizable, this app helps managers plan better and improve efficiency of teamwork.
For monitoring teams’ efficiency and project progress, visual tools are useful. This free application allows managers to visualize work process, analyze details, and see the big picture. It also helps monitor current results and see how aligned they are with the long-term goal. The app is designed to simplify project management and improve teams’ productivity.
The functionality of this app includes creating Gantt charts for project progress monitoring, running resource charts for work planning and resource allocation, and collaboration for more efficient teamwork. The data collected in the tool can be exported in various formats for further processing.
7. Ultra Edit
A helpful productivity tool for developers: while it is not targeted to increase focus or work on concentration, it significantly improves work speed and quality. The tool is basically a text editor with advanced options: multi-caret/ multi-select for editing markdown, page preview for quick edits, and search for speeding up work. Customizable UI makes work even more comfortable.
This tool features integrated FTP, SSH and Telnet for more efficient work with remote files or uploading codebases. It also supports work with large files and can be used on any platform: the personal license allows to use the app on up to three machines.