Lets get things done!

If you are one of the many people who procrastinate, then you probably have realized how hard it can be to finish tasks. To start off the day right, there are a few tips that could keep you more focused, save you time and make you more productive.

45/15 rule

The 45/15 method is known to be a tool for anyone who loves to procrastinate. The idea behind it is, that for each 45 min of work you allow yourself 15 min to do whatever your heart desires. This means, changing your focus fully. For an example, instead of writing or sitting behind your computer, you would go on a walk, exercise, clean your room, make a snack or do anything in your liking. This helps you to be more productive during those 45 min of work and will save you time since you are not procrastinating for hours out of a day. For better results a timer becomes handy to keep the 45/15 rule going.

Sticky notes on desk. Image from picjumbo.com

Time Managing Apps

In addition to your own effort, to keep yourself on track, there are tools that can help you stay focused. See below for some of the apps that we reviewed and found to be useful for time managing and productivity.

Toggl, an app that allows you to track your time. This one can be useful for the above mentioned 45/15 method, since a timer is a big part of the app. The interface makes it easy to use and available to separate every task by projects. For an extra feature, it lets you mark projects by clients as well as pay, which is useful for freelancers working on multiple assignments. Time tracking can be easily prepared into reports or exported into Excel, PDF and CSV files.

RescueTime, as the name says, will save you. The app will monitor your behavior on the computer and will track how much time you spend on each site. Another helpful feature, it allows you to block some websites that might be extremely distracting for you or you can set a timer so you do not use them more than you actually have to. Add your favorite activities as reminders as well to make sure you get things done. In the end, it concludes your information and allows you to analyze the findings. It is a quite interesting concept and probably one of the easiest ways to make sure that you do not get distracted online.

Evernote, this app is extremely convenient if you also use google drive. Since they have integrated their services and can be used effortlessly together. The app itself allows you to keep your life organized. For an example, you can clip articles by taking a photo or screenshot online and adding them in your notes, also can add reminders and sketch to-do lists, it truly helps you combine all visual information on to a digital notebook. In addition to adding images, it is easy to keep track of your spendings, which can benefit people who need to categorize their expenses, just snap a photo and insert it into your Evernote folder.

Inkflow, is an app that helps anybody who considers themselves a visual thinker. Everything that you are used to doing with pen and paper is finally made so much easier on your device. This is extremely convenient for the to-do lists and sketches that end up under a pile of paper or are easily lost. This app will keep you organized and on top of your game.

Another Option is Time-Blocking

These apps become useful tools to keep you on track, but it is important to set a structure first. If you are not a big fan of the 45/15 rule then Time Blocking could be an alternative choice. Very self-explanatory task is to make a To-Do list, whether you scribble it on a paper or use one of the apps above, it is smart to schedule a time for each chore (use above mentioned app RescueTime for this). This means, you add a date and time to everything you have to finish and focus that time only on one task, and block the distractions, hence the name ‘time blocking’.

Most Important Task First

There are many ways to lose track during the day, and it always seems easier to just finish the small quick tasks first until getting to the bigger ones.Especially, since the tiny errands require the least time and effort. In reality, it will save you time if you do the bigger tasks first, because they will not end up being buried underneath the rest of the day’s distractions. Additionally, it raises your productivity for the day and makes your time less stressful.

Originally published at medium.com