A simple guide to preventing procrastination

The internet is a temptation-filled playground where productivity and work deadlines all go to die. Here’s our quick guide to using technology to become more efficient in the workplace.

Some folks bound out of bed in the morning with a spring in their step and a sparkle in their eye ready to put their noses to the grindstone all day. Others need a bit more encouragement. For them, technology can be a temptation – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and cat pictures of all shapes and sizes can be an easy and mesmerising, distraction from work. But technology can also help people to stay focused, with everything from a gentle nudge to sterner methods for keeping you – and your productivity – on course.

What to do today

Procrastination apps – perhaps more accurately described as anti-procrastination apps – abound for all kinds of platforms, but if all you’re looking for is some gentle coaxing, a simple task-list app, such as Todoist or Wunderlist are good. There are plenty of these around, from Post-it style note apps that put different coloured jottings on your phone screen to lists you can tick off when done. Most come with reminders and some even feature nifty location-based settings, so when you’re stuck on a train it doesn’t remind you of the one thing you have to do when you get to the office at 9am, it sends a prompt when you walk in the door instead.

Stricter task managers

Sometimes the lure of the internet is so difficult to avoid you feel like you need someone to turn off the web entirely. For those times, a procrastination tool such as Strict Workflow or Productivity Owl, both Chrome extensions, can come in handy. These apps time and restrict your surfing to ensure you get your work done. With Strict Workflow, every 25 minutes of work buys you a five-minute break and you can also blacklist those sites that you just can’t get enough of. The sternly-faced Productivity Owl will watch over every page you visit, giving you an allotted amount of time to find what you’re looking for before it shuts you down.

Encouragement, not punishment

But if you respond better to the carrot than the stick, then Written Kitten may be the one for you. This positive reinforcement tool won’t keep you off the internet, but it does help you hit word-count goals by rewarding you with cute little pictures of kittens every time you meet a target.

Whether it’s a metaphorical pat on the back or a rap across the knuckles, anti-procrastination apps can help keep you focused at work and direct you away from the temptation to while away your time on the web. Why not try some of the above and watch your productivity rate soar?

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