5 Apps to Make You a More Productive Employee

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It may seem as though reaching for your phone makes you a less productive employee. However, app developers have done their part to ensure people in just about any field can rely on their smartphones to keep them working hard throughout the day.

It’s likely unsurprising that apps can perform a myriad of tasks in order to make you more efficient. Although there are countless downloads that can make you the most productive employee possible, we want to highlight the following five for their proven track record in making users excel in the workplace and beyond.

1. Todoist

Are you constantly reaching for a notepad or scraps of paper to jot down tasks you want to finish by day’s or week’s end? A to-do list is certainly the tool of the productive employee, and now you can do one better by making yours completely digital.

Todoist makes it possible to write down a single to-do list and pull it up on all your devices: computer, smartphone, tablet, etc. In fact, there are more than 10 extensions that allow you to use the app on different devices, operating systems and browsers. The app’s minimalist design prevents you from being distracted when you look at your computer to see what’s next on the list.

Most importantly, though, you can intuitively break down big projects into smaller pieces. You can share projects with other collaborators, set deadlines and allow comments. Everyone will be notified if something about a project changes. So, not only will you benefit from making a digital to-do list, but so will the rest of your team.

 

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2. Cold Turkey

How many times have you started working on a project and then found yourself browsing Facebook, shopping online or reading tabloids instead? Cold Turkey is here to fix all that and stop you from distracting yourself … cold turkey.

You can download the app onto your desktop web browser and customize it to your needs. Maybe you need it to block the entire internet so you can focus on the stack of papers on your desk. Maybe you need to block every single website except the ones you need for your project. Perhaps you want to schedule a few times during the day where you’re offline. You can do all of that with Cold Turkey — and you’ll likely see your productivity spike, too.

3. Stand Up! The Work Break Timer

In today’s fast-paced world, it might seem impossible to take breaks at work. On top of that, it might seem counterintuitive to hear that breaks actually boost your productivity. However, your brain becomes tired from constant stimulation and has trouble acknowledging a task is important if it’s working for too long. A break gives you time to feel refreshed and renewed, which helps your brain work hard once again.

Stand Up! The Work Break Timer reminds you to get up and give yourself a break at intervals set by you. You can choose the days of the week you want the reminders, how often you want them and at which locations you need to be reminded to move. The app is set up for smartphones for now, so download it, place your device on your desk and move when it tells you to. You’ll feel a brand-new sense of rejuvenation as soon as you sit back down to work.

Productive employee

4. Spotify

Is your workplace loud? Boisterous? Is it hard to concentrate with your co-workers on their phones all day long? Do you sit by the break room and hear the microwave ding from 9 to 5? No matter what’s distracting you noise-wise, you can drown it out with music — just make sure the music you choose will help you focus.

Spotify is an app that provides access to just about every song ever made. You can listen endlessly, too, though you’ll have to hear the occasional ad if you don’t have a premium account. Either way, you can search for particular songs that help you work and make your own playlist, or search the term productivity and tune into other users’ playlists to hear soothing songs that might help you focus, too.

If you’re building your own playlist, make sure to include music known to boost productivity. Songs that incorporate nature sounds, music without words and tunes with up-tempo beats are all proven to be boons to productivity.

5. Headspace

After a long day at the office, the way you use your free time can also affect how productive you are the next day. The Headspace app teaches you how to meditate and be more mindful in a free, 10-day course. You don’t have to dedicate hours to your practice — the meditations are minutes-long — and you’ll quickly see how mindfulness makes you a better person. You’ll feel more energized, more focused and more creative just through a daily meditation session.

With these five apps alone, you will see a real boost in your productivity. They’re just the tip of the iceberg, though — technology is on your side, and app developers are creating easy-to-use programs to help you succeed with ease. So, head to your device’s app store and start downloading, because it’s time to make technology work for you.

 

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Kayla Matthews is the editor of Productivity Bytes and a regular contributor to VentureBeat, Motherboard, MakeUseOf and Inc.com. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.