Free Tools to Be More Productive At Home

Being productive at home has its challenges. When you're surrounded by every-day distractions, chore lists are multiplying, and motivation is scarce, it's good to have some extra tools in the proverbial toolbox to keep you moving forward. Whether it's paid work or a personal project, try these tips to help you finish well:

Try focus music

Some people are motivated by their favorite tunes when they work - others find it distracting. If you fall into the latter category, instrumental focus music may be a better solution for you. Just search youtube, and you'll find free music tracks, each several hours long. Play it while you're working on the computer to help you concentrate and drown out distracting background noises.

Pace yourself with Pomodoro

The Pomodoro technique is all about working on one thing at a time, in a series of uninterrupted spurts. Typically, it means working at a task for 25 minutes, then taking a 5 minute break before the next 25-minute spurt. After four blocks of time, you take a longer break. The idea is to give your brain regular rest to stay fresh and to get more concentrated, concise work done. To aid in the process, you can use Tomato Timer, or download a Pomodoro app.

Wunderlist

Keeping track of your To Do list is simple with the app from Wunderlist. It allows you to organize multiple To Do lists as well as set due dates and reminders for your tasks. You can even sync up your lists with others and assign tasks to different people. Check off the box when you've completed a task, and hear the satisfying "ding" that it's done!

Track Your Time

Tracking how much time you spend on different activities is not only eye-opening, but it's an important step if you want to make changes to improve your productivity. RescueTime is an app you can easily install on your computer and/or phone to keep record of your online activities. It runs in the background and will produce a report of how much time you spent on various websites and computer programs. You can see the cumulation of productive and non-productive activities, set goals for yourself, and with the paid version, you can even block distracting websites at certain times of the day.

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