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7 Windows Programs Guaranteed To Boost Your Productivity - Instantly!
Looking for Windows-based software to increase your productivity? The article lists the 7 best programs available today, which will help you discover how to increase productivity.
Based on my experience of working from home, I’ve found that focusing a being productive can be a little tricky with the many distractions around today. Thankfully, I’ve found a solid list of tools that can really help to boost your productivity, and the great thing about them is that they are free or come with a very low price tag. If you’re asking yourself how to increase productivity, then read on – by the end, you’ll know what needs to be done to be more productive!
http://macfreedom.com – Trial, $10.
The first program is Freedom. Have trouble staying focused on what you need to do? Keep flicking to check out what’s happening on Facebook, or want to know what the latest development in Guam is?
Freedom blocks out your internet for a certain period of time, all the way up to 8 hours. The only way you can disable it is if you restart your computer, but if you do that just to continue browsing Twitter, then you probably have a very advanced problem and should probably see a therapist.
Overall it’s a great tool for procrastinators who can’t help but check out the internet or their email. It will allow you to get some serious work done, as long as it’s offline. You receive a trial of 5 uses, and the app is available for Windows, Mac and Android.
http://www.rescuetime.com – Free, Paid
RescueTime allows you to track where you spend your time when you’re on your computer (and even when you’re off it, too!). If you wonder where all the time goes, RescueTime will provide a breakdown of everything you do, all displayed in lovely bar graphs and colourful statistics. Fantastic for those who want to see what they actually do when their on their computer, and are wondering how to calculate productivity.
RescueTime also allows you to categorize what’s productive and what’s not – for example, Facebook would be ‘Very Unproductive’ while Microsoft Word could be ‘Productive’. You can categorize them according to your perception and what you do, but if not the site will do it for you based on what others think of them. It’s a great tool if you want to know how to stop procrastination, as you’ll be able to understand what time of the day you work best, and then plan your schedule accordingly.
A productivity technique that’s been gaining popularity recently is the Pomodoro Technique, or Time Blocking. Basically, you set a period of time for which you want to work on a task (e.g. 15 minutes), set a break time (e.g. 5 minutes), and then go for it, doing absolutely nothing else aside from the task you have committed to. FocusBooster is a fantastic looking Adobe Air app that provides you with a simple but aesthetic countdown timer. It plays a sound when your ‘work’ time is up, and then shows you how long you have left in your break.
It’s very easy to use, and it’s constantly free and updated. You can even set your own time, which means you can find the perfect medium for working – even if that is 2 minutes working, 1 minute break. Give it a try!
http://www.nozbe.com/ - Free/Premium
For many of us, Nozbe may not be needed. It’s a simple task manager, so if you prefer a pen and piece of paper, this might not be for you. However, for those of us who have trouble planning and keeping track of our to-do lists and projects, Nozbe is fantastic.
Its greatest feature is its ‘Next Actions’ list, which shows you what needs to be done next in order for you to move your projects forward. Taken from David Allen’s legendary Getting Things Done book, this will help you to actually make progress on your projects instead of simply sitting there and wondering what on earth needs to be done next.
http://www.todoist.com/ – Free/Premium
Similar to Nozbe, Todoist is my personal favourite. It’s an absolutely fantastic to-do list manager for those of us who appreciate simplicity and minimalism. It’s easy to operate, fast-loading, comes on a huge range of devices and syncs across them all, and it just looks so nice. If you don’t like being laden down with features, and you don’t trust yourself to store your pen and paper somewhere convenient, then give Todoist a try. With its ‘Karma’ feature, where you’re awarding points for completing tasks, it also helps you if you’re questioning how to measure productivity.
How Productive Are You?
http://soundrown.com/ - Free
Soundrown is the first of two recent sites I’ve come across that are absolutely fantastic for boosting productivity. The theory is that if your environment is too quiet (e.g. at home), then your creativity and productivity will be affected, the same as if it’s too loud (e.g. talk radio, loud music). Soundrown provides a nice in-between of neutral ambient sounds, such as a coffee shop, waves, and even a fireplace. It’s all free too, which is great!
Tip: A little-known feature of Soundrown is that you can play many different sounds over each other, with different volume levels. For example, on a cold winter’s night, I like to play the coffee shop noise mixed with the rain and the sounds of a fireplace crackling. Give it a try!
http://coffitivity.com/ - Free
Similar to Soundrown, Coffitivity is a recent creation that currently has 3 types of coffee shop noises on it. The theory is that coffee shops increase your productivity and creativity as mentioned above, and personally I really find the noise helpful. I’m sure more noises are in the works, but check it out if you’re bored of sitting in silence and want a productivity boost.
Bonus – Fences
http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/ - Trial/Paid
Here’s a little bonus for those of you who read to the end. Fences is a relatively little-known app, but it’s incredible for those of us who struggle to get their desktop under control and clean. Before Fences my desktop was a mess of files everywhere, and it would take me 2-3 minutes just to find the file or program I needed. However, with Fences, you can set up little boxes on your desktop to store specific files or programs (e.g. work, school, fun), and you can even have multiple desktops on the same computer (one for gaming, for work, and so on). It’s absolutely fantastic – give it a try to then tell me it didn’t give you peace of mind.
Of course, these tools will only help you if you commit to being more productive and/or improving your productivity. If you really want to waste your time on Facebook, then the greatest tool in the world isn’t going to stop you. You need to have a desire to be more productive, to get things done and to work towards your goals, and if you commit to this desire, these tools will give you a helping hand on the way. Give them each a try, and see what fits best with you.