It’s getting harder and harder to focus on work these days, with the many oh-so-tempting distractors lurking around every corner. How can you stay on target with Twitter, Reddit and Netflix just one click away?
No doubt, you’ve set productivity goals this year in an effort to minimize time wasted at work and streamline your workflow. How’s that going? It’s hard, there’s no doubt about it. But thankfully, the Internet giveth as much as it taketh away.
So for every Hulu and Pinterest that appears to help stagnate you, there come a couple great tools to help you curb your temptations and stay on track.
Here’s a list of very cool, slightly less popular productivity tools you should check out if you’re having problems staying on task (and we’re sure that you are).
We know that the Internet is the biggest reason you’re probably not being as productive as you should be. You’ve probably thrown your phone into your backpack and closed down all of the browser tabs that you don’t need to perform the task at hand.
But a lot of people tend to forget about the “X Factor” of disruption: your coworkers. How many times have you been really zoned into what you were working on, only to have a colleague come over to your desk and tap you on the shoulder? If this is you, then you might want to check out Luxafor.
It’s a USB light indicator that tells your coworkers whether or not you’re available to speak. The LED indicator gets connected to your computer via USB port and can both show your availability status and give you notifications about important events you might not want to miss – like scheduled meetings or emails from a big client.
Here’s a great tool for anyone who finds him or herself in a managerial position and needs to lead a group of people. You often have to tip-toe the line between making sure that everyone is being productive as possible and getting on everyone’s nerves. Producteev can help you gracefully achieve that balance.
This program gives you the ability to create projects and assign tasks to individual employees. You can then track everyone’s progress through Producteev without having to nag them or constantly hover over their shoulders to see if they are getting their work done.
Producteev gives you a great way to always have a clear overview of the big picture and gives you control over your projects while giving your staff enough independence to manage and complete their tasks on their own.
If you’ve tried and tried but simply can’t refrain from heading over to Facebook to check out your feed every ten minutes, then you need an intervention. StayFocusd could be just what the doctor ordered.
This Google Chrome extension allows you to block websites that you recognized as time-wasters. You can program the settings to unblock those websites once your workday is finished or simply make sure that StayFocusd is blocking them at certain times of the day when you know that you’re at your most vulnerable.
There’s even a “nuclear” option that will lock you out of the entire Internet and your computer if that’s what it takes for you to stay on task.
Rescue Time is an app that pretty much acts like a life coach. If you could hire a personal trainer to analyze the way you work and where you could stand to make improvements, this is what that might look like.
The app tracks your activity and feeds you with detailed analytics that show you what programs and websites you are spending the most time on, what your most and least productive times of day are and more.
Sometimes you know you are being distracted, but you aren’t sure what the direct causes of your lack of productivity are. Rescue Time can help you pinpoint these issues so that you can take the necessary steps to improve the way you work.
Everyone dreads meetings because they tend to last much longer than they really need to. Ever had a task that you just had to complete, but didn’t get to because you were stuck in a meeting for the better part of the afternoon? It happens to all of us.
Thankfully a tool like Do.com exists to help us better manage and organize our meetings now. Do.com basically asks as a personal assistant whose sole purpose in life is to optimize your meetings and make sure that they are as productive as possible.
It gives you tips and feeds you best practices on how to make sure that your meetings aren’t killing your productivity. Do.com also puts everything you need to run a successful meeting in one place. You can centrally store all of the documents and archives you need and keep detailed notes on past meetings, current agenda’s and future needs.