As someone who works from home, my workspace is a minefield of distraction. Cats, tasty snacks, the wind blowing past my window, that cleaning that I suddenly can’t put off any longer. If I let distraction takes its course, I find that soon half the day is over, and I still have a full workload to finish.
Thankfully there’s a whole host of productivity apps designed to keep you on track, writer or no. As someone well-versed in procrastination, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best.
Forest takes the Pomodoro Technique and perfects it. You start off by planting a simple pine tree. The tree grows over the course of 25 minutes (though you can adjust the time limit to your needs). If you successfully work through the 25 minutes without closing your app, you have a brand new tree to add to your forest and a nice gold reward. If you get distracted and start browsing on your phone, the sapling withers and dies, forcing you to start anew.
It’s gamification at its finest. As you earn more gold, you can unlock and plant more diverse species of trees, like a treehouse or blossoming cherry trees. The more productive you are, the more lush your forest becomes. If you run out of virtual trees, you can also spend your in-game gold to plant real trees around the world.
Habitica is perfect for keeping track of your long term goals. It’s essentially an RPG, but the main quest is to keep your life in order. You create a character and build up both daily and long-term to-do lists. As you complete tasks, you earn experience points to level up your character and gold to buy equipment.
The game has the scope of a JRPG, and there’s the potential to unlock spells, mounts, and all sorts of rare items. It’s also got a social component so you can compete with friends and family or party up to take on bigger challenges.
Maybe, in the end, you just need something simple. Be Focused is a minimalist timer and task manager also based on the Pomodoro Technique. You complete work within four 25 minute periods before giving yourself a longer break as a reward.
You can sort tasks into categories, and even change the timer settings. It’s pretty flexible, and there are no extra bells and whistles that could be potential distractions in themselves.
Being a productive adult is often a daunting task, but with these apps in hand you’ll be able to tackle your to-do lists with renewed vigor.
Are you a productivity mastermind? Leave your own advice in the comments below.