Tag Archive for 'Time Management'

Fix Your Time Management Issues With These 5 Apps

Phones are constantly distracting us with their messages, notifications and updates. Sometimes the very gadgets that are meant to facilitate our productivity actually seem to stop us from working to our full potential and living our lives to the fullest. With all of the apps out there that are designed to steal your time and distract you, why not fight fire with fire and, instead, download one of the many that have been created to motivate and help us become more productive.

Here’s our list of the top 5 apps that can help you block out those distractions:  

Forest: 

Forest is an app that lets you grow your own virtual forest by staying focused on the tasks you should be doing, rather than procrastinating.  It works by getting you to set a timer, for a period of your choice, in which you will concentrate on work activities. If you don’t disturb Forest in that time more trees grow, but leaving the app before the end of your ‘promise’ means it will kill off the trees; a perfect visual reminder to keep you focused. 

Forest is designed to keep you away from your phone whilst working, as the longer your device is undisturbed the bigger your forest will be. A great feature of this app is that you can earn virtual coins by creating your forest. When you spend these, the team behind the app donate to real-life tree-planting organisations to help combat deforestation. Another great motivator, as it means you can have an real impact on the environment. 

The app is free on Android or £1.99 on iOS. It is also available as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.

Offtime 

Offtime, does exactly what it says on the tin, giving you time off from specific apps with a feature that locks you out of social media during times you have set throughout the day. For example, if you set the app to not allow you to access Facebook between 12-2 pm then you will not be able to open the Facebook app during that time. 

You can label these set periods such as “work time” or “family time” to help you keep track of your day and focused at all times. The app can even help you identify your biggest time wasters, by showing you the apps you use the most. It can screen calls, by only allowing those that you choose to get through, but be setup to send custom replies to callers while it is active. It will also record all messages and notifications until connectivity is restored, meaning you don’t miss anything.

The caveat is that Offtime will need to know when you have incoming calls and be able to access a lot of apps to mute them, so please make sure you have carefully read terms and conditions before using the app. There is a light version for iOS devices, at a small cost, but the free Android version is more comprehensive. Overall, Offtime is a good tool for keeping your tech use in check.

Remember the Milk 

Remember the Milk is a to-do-list app that lets you share tasks and lists with others. It can work across all of the devices and platforms you use and lets you create tasks, assign due dates and add other information to the tasks. The free version will allow you connect to Gmail, Google Calendar, and Evernote, but connecting to other services such as Outlook may require you to dig into your pocket for the paid for version. . 

 

The free version of Remember the Milk  allows you to share your to-do-lists with two other people, but the paid for version allows unlimited sharing and also allows you to share a task list with someone, but restrict their access to read-only, if you don’t want them to be able to edit these tasks.

 

Remember the Milk is available for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and browser extensions. It syncs across all devices, even when they’re offline and allows you to create an unlimited number of lists

Focus 

Focus is an easy to understand app which helps you break down the day into smaller intervals, giving yourself a set time to complete a task before a short break. The idea behind this is to prevent users from being overwhelmed with a massive task list, by breaking activities into 15/30/60 minute chunks.  

Focus lets you view your daily, weekly and monthly activity so you don’t lose sight of the big picture. It requires a subscription and can be used on Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch, but is not, at time of writing, available on Android.

 

Noisli 

Finally, we have Noisli, which is a little different to the other apps and offers a unique way of trying to keep people productive and focused by using ambient sound to create a working atmosphere. 

If you’re unable work in silence and need a noisy environment, especially when working from home, then this app can help as it offers many sounds ranging from thunderstorms, to light rain, to a busy café and more. 

For more tips and tricks on time management, check out our How You Can Reduce Stress With These Time Management Tips blog or our Time Management Courses 

How You Can Reduce Stress With These Time Management Tips

November 1st is the start of stress awareness week, a time to reflect about how we can deal and prevent overwhelming stress.

Retreating to the island of Erraid in Scotland (Like Ben Fogle did) is one way to escape life’s stress, but maybe not a practical one, so here is a few things you can do to help you live a stress-free life.

Not being able to manage your time correctly can lead to a stressful life, whether that’s through procrastinating or simply not giving yourself a decent work-life balance.

Create a Schedule

Creating a schedule and planning your days in advance can be a great way to add structure to your life, allowing you to relax knowing that you have set times for yourself throughout the day. It also allows you to be productive whilst working since you already have planned what to do ahead of time, but remember to be flexible in case anything urgent appears.

Use Modern Apps

There are many applications to help you become a time management expert, whether it’s keeping it simple with calendars and journals, or trying some specialised apps such as ‘Rescue Time’, an app that gives you weekly reports on how you’ve spent your time each day.

Specialised help

If you are looking for a more in-depth course on how to manage your time and reduce stress, we offer high quality time management and stress management courses.

Article: How Music can Boost Productivity

How many of us put a music on whilst we are working? I certainly do when I work in a kitchen, whether I do dishes or cook a feast for my friends and family. Music puts me in a better mood and as a result makes me so productive.

 

However, a cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Levitin has a different opinion, which is described in his book ‘This is Your Brain on Music’. He believes that listening to music whilst working making us less productive since it negatively affects our memory and attentional capacity. However, for repetitive or monotonous tasks it has a positive effect since music helps to get rid of boredom. Looks like he is right with my kitchen work there.

Love Music

 

 

Levitin explains that listening to music makes us less productive while working because we have fewer resources left for the task we are working on.

 

So what shall we do?

 

Levitin suggests listening to music for 10 to 15 minutes before we start working, like for studying or writing, and then work in a quiet environment with regular breaks. However for boring tasks, we should put the music on whilst we are working.

 

What is your experience with music whilst you are working? Leave us a comment and why not also let us know what type of music you listen when you work.

 

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