Working smarter, rather than working harder, is one of the easiest ways to get more work done in less time allowing for more time to be spent relaxing (or getting more work done, if you prefer!). Learning how to manage time is one of the easiest ways to work smarter and increase productivity. This article will outline 5 great online time management tools that make it easy to manage time and be more productive.
1 – Focus Booster (Windows/Mac/Browser) – http:// focusboosterapp.com
Focus Booster is a timer app that is based around the principles set forth by Francesco Cirillo as part of the ‘Pomodoro Method’, a technique that allows for increased focus and simple time management.
The idea behind the Pomorodo Method is simple; work for 25 minutes and then relax for 5 minutes – repeat this process four times and then take a 20 minute break. During the work phase, it’s important to focus only on work and nothing else. Likewise, during the relaxation phase, it is important to focus on relaxing only.
The Pomodoro Method works by breaking down periods of work into small, manageable chunks while incorporating regular breaks that give the mind time to rest. As a result, focus is improved and productivity is increased.
Focus Booster makes it easy to use the Pomodoro Method. The app sits on the desktop and counts down the amount of time until the work or rest phase ends. When a phase ends, an alarm is sounded and a timer is automatically started for the next phase.
With a slick and easy to use interface, this free app makes it easy to use the Pomodoro Method to its fullest.
2 – Website blockers (various)
Time wasting websites are huge productivity killers. Instead of focusing on work, our minds wander and we suddenly find ourselves spending hours browsing Facebook, Reddit or any other number of other time wasting sites.
One of the easiest ways to fix this problem is to block these websites. This can be done in a number of ways.
Self Control (Mac – http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol) and Self Restraint (Windows – http://parker.kuivi.la/projects/selfrestraint) makes it simple to block websites across all browsers. After inputting a list of websites, websites can be locked for a period of time up to 24 hours. The websites will not load at all until the timer finishes, regardless of the browser being used.
Another option is to use browser addons to block websites. Google’s Chome browser has a number of different addons available that can carry out this function (“I-AM-STUDYING BLOCKER” – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/emebnfadbcfbcnebjhlohinanlbkcmhj / Stay Focusd – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji / Nanny for Google Chrome – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cljcgchbnolheggdgaeclffeagnnmhno). Similar addons for Firefox and other browsers can be found on their websites.
3 – RescueTime (Windows/Mac?Browser) – http://rescuetime.com
Rescuetime is a free time tracker that can be accessed through a browser. After signing up and installing the RescueTime app, RescueTime tracks all activities done on the computer it is installed on and records it in a database. At the end of the week, a report is created which shows how much time was spent working and how much time was spent on unproductive tasks.
RescueTime is superior to most time tracking apps as it is completely autonomous. While most apps need to be started and stopped manually, RescueTime works seamlessly and quietly in the background requiring little to no user input to track time.
4 – Producteev (Windows/Mac/Browser/iPhone/Android/Blackberry) – http://producteev.com
Producteev is a powerful ‘to do list’ manager that can be accessed through a browser or a number of apps available on a number of different platforms. With an intuitive and easy to use user interface, email integration and a bevy of tightly integrated collaborative features, Producteev allows individuals and teams to easily manage their tasks and to lists.
While there are alternative todo list tools available, Producteev excels due to its clean and simple UI and its powerful labelling and calendar system.
5 – iDoneThis (Browser) – http://idonethis.com
The idea behind iDoneThis is simple – an email is sent at the end of the day asking “What have you done today?”. Users reply to this email with a list of what they have done and then the iDoneThis website is updated with this information.
Through this process, iDoneThis gives users the chance to take a step back and decide whether they were productive on a particular day or not; it forces them to question whether they’ve worked on things that matter or whether they have squandered the day away on unproductive matters.
Proper time management allows users to increase their productivity and get more work done. The 5 tools listed in this article make it easy to improve ones time management skills – make sure to use them to improve your productivity.