During this period working from home is people’s favorite choice. But sadly, very few people know how to leverage work from home productivity.
It’s challenging to maintain your productivity levels high when you’re exposed to all kinds of distractions like your pet, the cheesecake in the fridge, or the half-read book on your nightstand. All of them are more inviting than the tasks you need to complete.
Research reveals that experts working from home are 13% more productive than their office-going counterparts. However, you don’t feel very productive these days because you barely navigate around the above distractions. If you’re new to working from home and find it difficult to focus on your tasks, a couple of the tools we list in this article may boost your productivity levels.
Tools for tracking your time
It may be shocking to find out that most workers overestimate the time they spend working to over 25 hours weekly. In fact, the average worker works productively from 3 to 4 hours and spends the rest of the time doing something else (drinking coffee or tea, socializing with co-workers, using social media). The issue with misjudging the time isn’t that they should put in more hours but about evaluating how productive they are. Tracking the time is essential when trying to understand what you do in a day of work.
If you want to track your time, here are two productivity tools you can use:
- Rescue Time is a browser extension that shows you how much time you spend on each site daily and how much of the workday you’re productive. It’s easy to use because it allows you to set goals and automates the process.
- Toggl is a plug-in that allows you to track how you use your time organized by the tasks. It’s the ideal tool when you bill by the hour. When you use it, remember to start and stop the timer when you engage in a task.
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Tools for tracking progress
To boost your productivity, you first need to measure it to know where you start. Productivity is the sum-total of activities you can measure in terms of time and their impact on your job. You can use many tools to measure your progress. The most popular ones are TomatoTimer, Asana, Evernote, and Trello. All of them allow you to create a list of tasks you must complete in a day. You can share your progress with your co-workers.
Tools for preventing distractions from throwing off your focus
Working from home can put you in the awkward situation of sharing your home office with an apartment colleague, spouse, or even child. It’s not comfortable to work in the same room with your spouse playing online games or a colleague watching Netflix. This can easily lead to absolute chaos that deters your productivity and requires extra energy to complete the work tasks. Your main concern, in this case, is to tune out the noise, and a pair of high-quality headphones can cancel the surrounding noise. If you work in a separate room, but the outside noise is troubling you, you may need to isolate the walls or even change the windows to stop the surrounding sounds from distracting you.
Besides the above distractions, add social media to the list because the average individual spends 5 years and 4 months of their life on social media. So, it would help if you stayed away from social media during work hours to improve your performance and productivity. Here are two tools that can help you:
- Cold Turkey is an app that allows you to make a list of the websites you want to avoid, and enter the work schedule, to let the app know when you need to avoid distractions. Cold Turkey Writer allows you to set the number of words you want to write before you can browse the Internet for other purposes.
- StayFocusd allows you to set a limited time you can spend on social media.
Tools for staying healthy
Technology can improve your life if you use it positively and productively. In this case, you need to use it to stay healthy and build positive habits. One thing that can strain your wellbeing is exposing your eyes to the harmful blue light of screens for prolonged periods. A poorly configured screen can put extra strain on your eyes. Adjust your desktop light to your preferences to improve your overall wellbeing. –
- ClickMonitorDDC is a powerful tool that can adjust your computer’s settings. You can change the saturation, vibrance, contrast, brightness, and audio features.
- f.lux is a tool similar to the Night Light feature you can find on Windows 10 that adjusts the brightness and color of the screen according to the time of the day and light condition in the environment where you use it. To protect your eyes even further, you should also wear a pair of blue light computer glasses that reduce the blue light and prevent eye strain.
Other tools that can help you build positive habits are:
- Calm is an app that improves your physical and mental health because it introduces you to a meditation routine. You can install the app on your smartphone and access a collection of meditation and breathing exercises. During breaks, you can use the app to engage in a guided meditation that reduces stress levels and improves focus.
- Gratitude Journal is a tool that allows you to track the things that make you happy in life. Something your overwhelming schedule can make you forget all the things you should be thankful for. With Gratitude Journal, you can remind yourself why you should smile daily. The app asks you to list three reasons why you feel grateful daily.
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Tools for planning your activities
The famous quote is true in the business world when you fail to plan you plan to fail. A well-planned day is a secret to lower stress and get more work done in less time. A schedule comes with many benefits; it avoids missing deadlines, gets the vital tasks done in time, and keeps you on track. However, it’s challenging to make a good plan because it should be a mix of healthy work and happy life. Here are two examples of apps that help you plan your daily activities.
- Todoist is one of the simplest, yet most intuitive tech tools for work planning. You can easily use it because it has both desktop and mobile versions. You can organize the activities by their importance and due dates into multiple categories. The app makes it easy to identify the tasks that require your immediate attention. It helps you prepare for upcoming deadlines.
- Fantastical is an iPhone app that allows you to organize your daily tasks without bothering to write them down because it uses voice recognition. It sends reminders that are very clear in information to ensure that you stick to your schedule.
Tools for completing more tasks, faster
Now that we have covered all the other aspects, it’s the moment to look out for tricks that can boost your productivity and performance. You want to improve your skills and work better, and technology can help you achieve your goal. Here is a list of tools you can use to speed up your daily tasks. Your co-workers will think they team up with Flash if you integrate one of the next apps into your working routine.
- Process Street is a tool that helps you generate checklists about recurring projects and tasks you might neglect when caught up with new ones. The key to improving your performance is to stay organized and prioritize your tasks. To do this you need to eliminate guesswork and ensure you don’t forget any important detail that can affect your work. This tool can prove useful even when you work on group projects or as a freelancer.
- Equil Smartpen is a digital pen that synchronizes your on-paper notes to any digital program you may use to manage your work (iCloud, Dropbox, or Evernote). If your job requires brainstorming ideas and taking notes by hand, this smartpen can revolutionize your work. Because it creates a digital copy of all the information you write by hand. This way, you won’t waste time transcribing your notes; you can send them to other people with the touch of a hand.
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Last thoughts on how to boost productivity when working from home
Productivity is a mindset. The above tools and tricks and help you increase your productivity and performance levels while working from home. But you should also set your mind to achieve your goals if you want to be successful. You may do some small and monotonous activities daily that consume a lot of your time. You could use it in a more productive way if you would have the right tools. Technology is here to simplify and automate tasks, so why not using it?
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