Are you as productive as you would like to be? Do you feel like there is not enough time in the day to do everything you want? Are you distracted too often during the day? We all want to squeeze as many tasks as possible during the entire course of the day. Many of us even compromise a few hours of rest to complete pending work.
However, the result remains the same: work remains unfinished. In fact, staying up late at night hampers productivity during the day. Additionally, an infographic by Atlassian claims that workers spend less than 60% of their time productively during office hours.
According to this infographic, here are the 3 major culprits;
On the other hand, some individuals manage to get everything done without working overtime. They are never in a hurry and still have enough time to mingle with co-workers, socialize, and even play a game or two on their smartphone. How do they manage all that? Do productive individuals have some magic pill that lets them do it all?
One thing to observe about productive and efficient individuals is that they plan their activities. Instead of focusing on accomplishing more, they prioritize their tasks and concentrate on the most important ones.
Moreover, they use mobile apps to their advantage. Yes, the technology that is considered to be the number one culprit for our lack of productivity can be used to enhance it too.
How? Let’s find out!
Apps that increase productivity
The App Store and the Google Play Store combined hold more than 5 million apps in their databases. These apps are used by people from every walk of life to make their lives easier and save time spent on menial tasks.
For example, apps for online banking and shopping have made transactions convenient for consumers. Similarly, the medical industry has introduced consultation apps that enable patients to seek the advice of qualified doctors from the comfort of their homes.
However, smartphones and apps also take up too much of our time. A study by research firm Dscout confirms that the average individual touches his or her smartphone 2,617 times per day while mobile apps are accountable for 89% of user’s mobile media time. On the other hand, if mobile apps are used correctly, they can help us organize daily activities, enhance communication with team members, and even assist in relaxing after work.
Here, we have compiled a list of 10 productivity-enhancing apps that will make your day more efficient, improve your mood and keep you more engaged.
As the name suggests, Wunderlist is a wonder-list creator. The simple and easy-to-use task management app allows users to write all their tasks and categorize them according to their priority.
The app’s simple layout is easy to understand, and users can get started on it right away. Best of all, the lists created through Wunderlist are shareable which means you can share your plans with family, friends, and co-workers.
This feature comes in very handy if you work with a team or have a busy schedule and want to keep family members updated about your whereabouts. The same lists can also be synced with other devices and printed.
Ideal for: Business and personal use
Supported platform: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows
Price: Free ($4.99 per month for the Pro version)
70% of employees feel less engaged at work while 75% agree that proper communication is the most critical aspect of work.
Transparent communication amongst the workforce can increase productivity by 38%. Slack allows members of a team to collaborate, discuss projects, and share files on a single platform.
Conversations between members of Slack can be made both privately and publicly. The app can also be integrated with other time-management tools such as Trello, Google Drive, etc.
Ideal for: Companies that have both in-house and remote workers
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows
Price: Free for small teams, paid plans also available.
64% of employees admit to using the internet for non-work-related purposes during office hours. Another survey reveals that people spend more than 2 hours on news websites and social media every day.
For example, how many times do you catch yourself checking WhatsApp while at work? Can you avoid these distractions with your strong will? Possibly not! Cold Turkey does the job for you by blocking out the distracting websites and apps so you can finish your work quickly.
Ideal for: The majority of us who find ’internet’ as a primary source of distraction during work hours.
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows
You won’t find yourself productive at your workplace if you don’t take short breaks in between tasks. In fact, most productive people work for 52 minutes at a stretch and then take a 17-minute break.
Studies have also shown that taking small breaks during work can increase productivity while moderate exercise, chatting with friends and family members, or having a cup of tea can boost concentration.
When you are too engrossed in your work, Stand Up: The Work Break Timer reminds you to take a break, so you don’t become overworked and lose your creative streak.
Ideal for: Those who ‘forget’ to take breaks while working
Supported Platforms: iOS
The internet is full of articles and blogs that are worth reading. However, reading them during work hours may hamper one’s ability to work with full concentration.
With Pocket, you can easily save all that worthwhile reading material that you find during working hours and read them during your leisure time.
Trimmed versions of articles can also be created to remove excess graphs and ads. Till date, more than 30 million users have ‘pocketed’ 2 billion items with the help of this app. The Pocket can also be integrated with several other apps such as Twitter and Flipboard for convenient sharing and comments.
Ideal for: Readers
Supported Platforms: iOS
Price: Free ($44.99 for Premium version)
Do you have a habit of jotting notes on a yellow sticky pad during meetings? Are your walls filled with post-it notes that you typically use as reminders? Do you wish to eliminate paper clutter from your desk? If you have trouble remembering tasks or are used to writing down ideas on a paper, then this app is for you! Evernote is a popular note-taking app that enables users to take notes and archive them for future reference. The app allows users to create several notes (even hundreds).
The best thing is that retrieval of notes is easy with Evernote. It boasts several innovative features such as the app’s ability to capture images, record voice memos, create to-do lists, and much more.
Evernote’s premium and business version offer more add-ons such as video notes, enhanced security, and the ability to work offline. Above all, you can share your notes with friends, family members, co-workers, and classmates to collaborate and keep abreast with developments at work.
Ideal for: Everyone
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Linux
Price: Free for the basic version. Premium and business versions are available for $5/month and $10/month respectively.
Although Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, internet users also consider Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn as important and check them several times a day.
For this purpose, apps like HootSuite can save the day which enables users to post on multiple accounts from a single dashboard. HootSuite is used by more than 15 million people worldwide and is the most popular app for managing social media accounts amongst businesspersons.
Businesses can utilize Hootsuite as a centralized platform from which they can schedule posts, respond to tweets, get updates from LinkedIn and much more. The app also includes an analytical tool that allows business owners to keep track of their brand’s reach within the social media platforms.
Ideal for: Social fanatics, businesses
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free for individuals who’re using up to 3 profiles. Plans for professional users start from as low as $19/month for 10+ profiles. A free 30-day trial is also available.
Does your spouse complain that you spend too much time on Facebook? Or maybe your teenage daughter is spending more time on the internet than she does studying?
Well, Rescue Time is a time-tracking app that analyzes how you spend time on the internet. The app sends out weekly reports that show which sites you have browsed, their duration, and frequency. Goals for personal productivity can also be fixed while progress can be regularly tracked on the app’s dashboard.
Moreover, the Rescue Time Premium (paid) version enables users to block certain websites and apps. For example, I often get carried away while playing Candy Crush. The game distracts me from work, and my mind is always occupied with ways on how I can pass a certain level.
With apps like Rescue Time, I can easily block the game after I’ve used it for a specific period. Rescue Time is one of the best apps that shows where you are in the ‘virtual’ world each day.
Ideal for: Individuals who use ‘too’ much of their smartphone
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Linux
Price: Free for the basic version. Premium version is available for $9/month or $72/year
How many times did you plan to eat healthily but couldn’t succeed? Or the time when you made a new year resolution to meditate regularly, but you couldn’t find the motivation to start.
Setting goals and priorities is important. They keep us accountable and persuade us to achieve more in life. However, most goals are left unattended. Apps like Lift help us take action.
The app lists several popular habits such as sleep by midnight, eat breakfast daily, or go to the gym regularly. The user can choose any habit to pursue or set customized goals. Once a goal is achieved, the user can ‘check in’ the habit while the app displays graphs and charts to show them how near a user is to his goal.
Most importantly, the app offers community support where other members of Lift encourage you to do well and adopt good habits.
Ideal for: Users who are unable to stick to their goals
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, and Linux
Price: Free for the basic version
Did you know that an average individual spends 13 hours reading, sorting, deleting, and sending emails? Another survey by the Carleton University claims that people spend 1/3 of their time at work and half of the time at home – reading and responding to emails.
Additionally, 30% of emails are not even of urgent nature. The time spent on emails is keeping individuals from doing impactful work thus reducing overall productivity. However, Spark app is designed to help users organize their mailbox.
The simple layout allows swapping for archiving and deleting while emails are displayed in such a way that you can easily scan them just like you would do your text messages.
Ideal for: Users who get many emails and wish to de-clutter their inbox effortlessly
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac
Boost your productivity
Remember, all work and no play can make you a dull person. After work, make sure to indulge in activities that relax your mind and body.
For some productive and fun breaks, we recommend podcasts on Sound Cloud. Moreover, refrain from downloading apps that have spam and download apps with good ratings and reviews.
We all want to do more in less time. If there were any way to maximize the 24 hours given to us, we would surely do so.
Time is precious, and we should use it in a way that benefits us. Studies have also shown that being stressed about workload and finances can influence a person’s focus and productivity. Employees that are content with their work and the environment are known to be more effective in the workplace.
In fact, statistics reveal that happy employees are 20% more effective than unhappy ones. Giving them the right tools to work with can make a significant difference in their productivity.
With the tools mentioned above, we are sure your productivity levels will soar, and you will be able to get a lot done in the shortest time possible. Good luck and do let us know which one of these you liked the best!
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524