With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many office-centered jobs all around the world have shifted to working remotely, or as many would call it “working from home” (WFH). But when you’re home and working in a comfortable, pressure-free environment can make it hard to stay productive. What can you do?
Forest puts an interesting twist on the classic Pomodoro timer method to productivity.
At its core, the technique is simply putting all your focus and energy on the task at hand for a certain period of time (typically 25 minutes) and taking breaks (typically 5 minutes) and repeating this cycle until you’re done with your task.
What makes Forest special is that for every cycle you start, you plant a tree. As the time ticks, the tree grows, and when the time is complete your tree is fully grown, and part of your forest.
The app comes with a “blacklist” and “whitelist” function, which essentially detects when you’re in distraction-causing apps like Facebook or Twitter while you’re supposed to be working. When you lose focus and go into those blacklisted apps, the tree dies and stays in your forest withered.
Another great benefit of this app is that users also have the option to spend virtual coins to plant real trees through the app’s collaboration with Trees for The Future, a non-profit organization.
Are you finding it hard to stay on track and manage your time when Netflix or Facebook is right within reach?
This tool specifically for your computer helps block out any distractions by scheduling focus sessions. Unlike other similar tools, it helps block both unproductive websites and programs/applications to maximize your potential when you need it the most.
A feature they’re known for is their strict “no turning back” locking, which helps instill a stronger sense of discipline. In the application, you can also adjust the kind of focus style depending on what works for you: Pomodoro-style (intervals of focus) or time limits for unnecessary sites and programs.
When tasks get overwhelming and there’s too many to keep track of, nothing is more important than a to-do list style app. One of the most renowned ones is Todoist. Aside from its nice, sleek-looking and easy to use interface, it has many key features that distinguish it from other similar apps. For one, it sorts tasks by priorities, projects, labels, and filters and it has the option to color-code each. You can also delegate tasks for team-based work to be able to see overall team progress. When you miss deadlines or have overdue tasks, the app has a tool that analyzes all your other tasks and helps you reschedule it around the other deadlines when you’re available.
Some other simple but powerful features also include the ability to: set multiple or even recurring due dates, sync Todoist with other apps such as Google Calendar, Dropbox, and Amazon Alexa, and see tangible progress through their productivity trends.
Are there moments when you feel so busy but don’t know where your time actually goes? Or maybe you miscalculate how long tasks actually take and you’re feeling overwhelmed? If yes, Toggl is just the app for you. Toggl is a cross-platform time-tracking app with one simple function: to help you manage your time. Simply press the timer when you start a task, do your work, and then tap it when you’re done or when you take a break. The app handles the data for you and processes it through easy to understand charts and so you can decide if you’re using your time wisely.
Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you should neglect taking care of your body. One thing your body always needs is water. Plant Nanny is a cute way to help you get enough of this life-giving liquid. Essentially, the app works by giving you a plant to name and take care of; whenever you take a drink, so does the plant. Forget to drink and the plant gets sad and eventually dies. Drink too much and the plant drowns. Eventually, you can have a collection of healthy and adorable little plants for as long as you're consistent with your goals.
The times we’re in and the times ahead of us are difficult ones. Panic and anxiety can hang in the air as we hope for the best for ourselves, our family, and loved ones. This stress can sometimes stop us from doing our work effectively, or even simply being happy. Simple Habit helps you take the time you need to reflect and de-stress through guided meditations for any time in the day and for any mood.
Simple Habit takes you through mindfulness exercises to help you understand how you feel and process it in a healthy way. What makes this app special is that you can filter what kind of meditation you need. The kind of meditation depends on the amount of time that you have, the kind of mood you’re in, and what time of day it currently is. This feature helps set you in the right mindset wherever and whenever you are.
The best part about it is that it’s still useful and functional even with the free version. Other mediation apps give you less than the bare minimum to help you out. Not Simple Habit.
With these tools and tips, you are sure to be able to make the most of your time at home a productive one!
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