Staying laser-focused and organized throughout the day can be challenging, especially after the inevitable post-lunch slump, when all you want to do is nap under your desk—or slurp down a triple shot latte just to stay awake. Sure, sometimes at a coworking space, distraction is simply inevitable; we can’t expect to be work powerhouses all day, every day. But when you find yourself refreshing your Twitter feed for the 10th time in an hour, it’s probably time to buckle down and get some work done. Particularly if you’re a project manager, you’re on a tight deadline, or you work from home (where it can be even easier to get sidetracked by that pesky Facebook feed), it can help to get some productivity hacks in place.
Luckily, there are plenty of applications, time management tools, and organizational strategies out there to keep you on track. Here are some of our favorite tools for increasing productivity at work:
The Five-Minute Journal.
If you’ve never been the journaling type, now’s as good a time as any to start! Journaling is wonderful for introducing clarity and focus into your life, and it’s also a powerful meditative tool—scrawling a few sentences about gratitude in your journal can be akin to meditating for five minutes. With the Five-Minute Journal, you’ll have a structured format for listing affirmations and what you’re grateful for. Get ready to infuse your work day with some serious positivity and mental power.
A practical note-taking app, Evernote is one of the most popular organization tools out there for a reason: It works. Evernote is versatile and multi-functional; you can use it to set reminders, organize photos, create project-based to-do lists, and so much more. Perhaps most handily, Evernote can sync up with all your other mobile and desktop devices, so if you’re constantly moving between devices, this may just be the perfect productivity app for you.
It’s all about curating better habits, right? Right! With Momentum, you can truly start holding yourself accountable and cultivating a more productive lifestyle. Known as one of the best habit trackers around, Momentum lets you check off your goal ‘habits’; the thinking is that every time you can see that you’ve completed a positive habit, the less likely you are to quit it.
Calling all social media fiends! If you find yourself obsessively checking Instagram 45 times a day instead of working, you’ll probably want to download 1Focus. Basically, with this app, you can block certain apps and websites (and elect the duration you want them blocked for), so you can really maximize a chunk of time and get stuff done. Let’s be real: Thirty minutes of serious productivity is way better than three hours of checking all your social media feeds and doing little tasks here and there.
These are our five of our favorite productivity tools—but we’d love to know some of yours! Tell us in the comments below what apps help you use your time most efficiently.
Justine Harrington is a freelance journalist, essayist, and copywriter for travel and lifestyle brands based in Austin. Her work has appeared in Fodor’s, Backpacker, USA Today, the Austin-American Statesman, Austin Monthly, Austin Woman, Misadventures Magazine, and elsewhere.