Working from home may seem like one version of the “being your own boss” dream, but there are definitely some unique difficulties that come with the freedom of designing your workday. While eliminating in-office distractions like water cooler gossip and the impromptu meeting room gathering, there are still a few distractions from home that can interrupt your workflow. Figuring out the things that inspire and motivate you to get your work done and the best road to productivity from home can take time and often will be trial and error as you test out different approaches.
As more job industries and employee positions embrace the benefits of working from home, the world of technology has been hard at work exploring new ways to help! Here are five apps that have created innovative and effective resources that can genuinely make all the difference in your work day!
Problem: I feel so unorganized some days!
This project management app is compatible with both iOs and Android and the free version is super effective at keeping you organized! Asana allows you to create multiple different boards for all of your project categories and then create tasks for yourself, and even for additional team members like coworkers and contract workers. It allows you to personalize project titles, assign tasks, choose due dates and mark things as priority depending on urgency. It also keeps everything organized by allowing you to add attachments and share links right inside each task, cutting down on email communication as well.
Problem: I can be busy all day without accomplishing anything.
Solution: Rescue Time
It’s far too easy to spend an entire day feeling busy and swamped only to realize by the end that nothing on your list got accomplished. You don’t want to be busy, you want to be productive! The free app, Rescue Time, does just what it says! The time you fear you’re losing each work day will quickly be seen through a new lense by allowing you to track which websites you spend the most time on and just how long you’re there. Taking it one step further, the app will pinpoint which hours of the day and week you are your most unproductive so you can learn from the data and make changes that makes sense for when you’re most distracted vs. focused. You can purchase the paid version to actually block the websites you don’t want to have access to during your work day for added accountability.
Problem: I use social media for work but can get lost scrolling…
While many parents are aware of social media blocking apps, adults can sometimes get a little too glued to their phone as well. The IOS and Android app, BreakFree not only tracks your usage of each social media app but it breaks down all of the information it gathers into a unique “addiction score.” Now you can easily see where your time is going outside of your working social media hours! The app even tells little things like how often you unlock your phone screen! If you’re honest with yourself and are serious about getting rid of distraction, BreakFree is an awesome choice to help eliminate the dreaded hours lost when scrolling social.
Problem: Inspiration strikes when you’re busy doing something else.
If you are the queen of to-do lists, then Evernote is going to become your new app BFF! There are times when inspiration strikes but you’re in the midst of a meeting or getting a project completed but you don’t want to lose that moment. Evernote can be on your mobile device right at your fingertips to jot down ideas, doodle images, attach photos or PDFs, create tasks and more. To make things easy, the app even syncs across your devices and your computer so jumping into your note can be done anywhere. Even if you’re focused on something else, those immediate ideas that break through can be added quickly to Evernote for later.
It’s easy to get comfortable being uncomfortable in our work routines and even the outcomes. Take time to think about which problems you relate to in your work day and download the solution apps you think could really make a difference!