With the rise of remote work, more and more people are finding themselves working from home. While working from home can have advantages, such as greater flexibility and a better work-life balance, it can also present a unique set of challenges, the biggest being maintaining productivity.
In this blog post, we’ll be exploring some of the best tools to help you increase your productivity when working from home, including tools for time tracking, project management and focus.
Let’s take a look at our top picks…
Project management tools
Project management and organisation are critical when working from home, especially when you are juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. Fortunately, there are numerous tools to help you stay on top of your work and give you a motivation boost.
This app and website allow you to create virtual boards with cards that contain information about your tasks, deadlines and priorities. Trello is user-friendly and offers a range of customisation options to help you manage your projects effectively. It’s great for teamwork and using it as a to-do list for your day ahead.
Built-in notes app
Another helpful productivity tool is a notes app on your phone that allows you to make lists, jot down random ideas, and create checklists. This can help you capture and organise your thoughts, ensuring you don’t forget anything important. There are numerous note apps available, but the one you have built into your phone works perfectly.
Looking for a comprehensive project management tool that offers a range of features? ClickUp includes task management, time tracking, and team collaboration. It offers customisable templates, integrations with other productivity tools, and a user-friendly interface, making it a great choice for teams and independent work.
Time tracking tools
Time tracking is an important aspect of working from home as it lets you know how much time you spend on specific tasks and improves your productivity when used correctly. Why not try some of the apps mentioned below and see how they help your day flow.
If you want to track your work hours, Clockify is a popular and free time-tracking app that can help you monitor how much time you spend on specific tasks and analyse the data into a spreadsheet, so you can see where you may need to improve your time management skills.
This app is a timer that encourages you to stay focused by adding fun to your work hours. You plant a virtual tree that grows as long as you stay on task, but if you leave the app to browse social media, the tree dies (and we don’t want that!)
Another time-tracking tool worth checking out is Pomofocus, a minimalist Pomodoro timer that allows you to customise your work intervals and break times. This is great for those that tend to work through lunch and have a hard time separating their day.
Playlists to focus
Creating a productive environment when working from home can be challenging, and distractions can quickly derail your work. A popular way to combat distractions and increase focus is to use playlists designed for productivity. Listening to music while working is not a new concept, but creating or listening to a playlist that is specifically designed to help you focus can be a great tool to add to your workday.
Various productivity playlists are available on popular platforms such as Spotify and YouTube. These playlists include different types of music, such as chill music, lo-fi beats and classical music. These playlists can help you concentrate and block out unwanted noise. One example is “Music for Work — Limitless Productivity Playlist,” which features upbeat, instrumental music.
A TikTok trend from last year is using video game soundtracks, such as The Sims music, or ambient noise playlists, such as rain sounds. These playlists are perfect for those who struggle to concentrate in a quiet environment.
Research has shown that certain types of sounds, such as white noise, can help mask background noise and increase productivity. You can download white noise apps or simply type them into YouTube.
Here are some other ideas to help you stay productive:
- Put your phone on do not disturb or use apps that only allow certain notifications to come through. This way you don’t get distracted by social media or other apps on your phone. If you have an iPhone, you can set up work mode by following these easy steps.
- Change up your workspace to avoid getting stuck in a rut. If you have a dedicated home office, try moving to a different room or even working outside. Changing your surroundings can help stimulate creativity and improve your focus.
- Stop multitasking and focus on one task at a time. This can help you be more productive and reduce the risk of making mistakes. Use time blocking to help you stay focused on one task at a time.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time. The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking your workday into 25-minute intervals, followed by a five-minute break.
- If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, try going outside and getting some fresh air. Taking a quick walk around the block or sitting outside for a few minutes can help clear your head and improve your focus.
Ultimately working from home is here to stay, but you may need to incorporate some of these tools and tips into your day to increase productivity. By finding strategies that work best for you and your unique work style, you can get the most out of your workday.
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