In addition to running this blog, I work a full-time job at a daycare, and I have a couple of side work-at-home jobs as a freelance editor and a direct sales representative. Needless to say, I’m busy. Busy, busy, busy. But you probably are too. And maybe you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity (I know I always am).
How much do you think your workflow could improve if you could find a way to:
* Limit distractions in this distraction-filled world
* Stay focused on a single task at a time?
You’re well on your way to getting more done, but it’s not always easy to get there. But thanks to the amazing technology we have available to us today, there are a plenty of tools out there that can help.
Here are 3 of my favorite productivity tools that help me limit distractions and stay focused.
#1: Rescue Time
It’s important to get the distractions out of the way first, because even while technology brings us so many great productivity tools it also brings us tremendous distractions. RescueTime helps you track how you spend your time on your computer and/or your mobile devices, and it helps you identify where you’re spending (or, often, wasting) a lot of your time.
- Alert you when you’re spending a certain amount of time on a specific activity
- Allow you to block distracting websites during focus time
- Keep track of what you accomplished throughout the day
- Identify how much time you spend on a variety of activities, including email, meetings, etc.
And you can sign up for either the “lite” version, which is completely free, or the premium service to gain access to added features.
The Focus Booster app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which is a long-standing productivity technique that uses a timer for focused work periods (usually 25 minutes), followed by a 3-5-minute break. After you complete 4 work periods, you get a 15-30-minute. The idea is you stay completely focused on the task at hand during the work period.
There are a lot of apps that can help you execute the Pomodoro Technique, but Focus Booster is one of the best. They have a free starter plan that allows you up to 20 sessions per month, or you can sign up for one of thei reasonable yearly fee plans and get unlimited sessions and extra features (after a free 30-day trial).
The app keeps a time sheet for you and produces a report that allows you to track your productivity and identify ways you can become even more productive.
#3: Focus @ Will
I love, love, love this program! It’s something very different from probably anything else you’ve ever tried, but it’s scientifically proven to increase your focus and productivity. And if you love music like I do, you’re going to be really excited about this.
Focus@Will uses human neuroscience and music to help you focus, limit distractions, get productive, and retain more information. All you do is answer a few questions, and the software will determine the right music to put your brain in a flow state that makes you super productive. And this really works! I know. I’ve tried it, and they totally nailed it for me!
There is a free 2-week trial, so you can see if it works for you. I really think it will, and you’ll never want to stop using it.
Try the tools on this list, and let me know what you think. And if you’ve got a productivity tool you love, let me know about it in the comments below. I’d love to gather up your answers and make a follow-up blog post featuring more great productivity tools!