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This article was published on February 22, 2016

5 productivity apps to help you single task

5 productivity apps to help you single task Image by: Shutterstock
Jennifer Ho
Story by

Jennifer Ho

Content Marketer

Writer and coder. Previously wrote for Index.co, now a developer with Mila. Tweet me at @yuejn and connect with me on LinkedIn. Writer and coder. Previously wrote for Index.co, now a developer with Mila. Tweet me at @yuejn and connect with me on LinkedIn.

You, task switcher, have a lot of things going on in your head. Look, there’s that e-mail you need to send to your manager whizzing by, just missing a collision with the conference call you need to organize for the end of the week. We’re not even going to take a look at that big messy pile over by social media either.

Stop. Take a deep breath.

Task switching, or multitasking, is expensive. When you’re writing a report, talking with your colleague and checking your phone for notifications – it takes a toll on productivity. You’re less effective at all of those things when you’re continually switching. So why not just focus on one task at a time?

In honor of Single Tasking Day – which we think is a much more constructive made-up holiday than Sidewalk Egg Frying Day – we’re highlighting five companies from the Index.co community that help you manage your tasks better.

Here are our steps to help you be more productive

1. Calibrate with Headspace

First things first – calibrate your mind with Headspace and their 10 minute meditation sessions. Their aim is to encourage you into wellness so you can lead a more happier, healthier and enjoyable life.

Does the word “wellness” put you on the defensive? It’s all right. They ditch the flowery language, making meditation approachable for time-starved, dubious workaholics like you and me.

2. Simplify with Any.do

Next step – the task. How big is it? What do you need to do to finish it?

Break it down into manageable chunks with Any.do. They’re in the business of making you have a good day, every day.

How? With a daily planner that helps you manage your tasks, synced across all your devices. It’s pretty advanced too, letting you delegate subtasks to Juan from three desks over if need be.

3. Unplug with Freedom
Freedom App

At around 2PM, my brain lulls and the next thing you know, I’m looking at Yeezy’s latest tweetstorm. Entertaining, yes. Productive, no. Judging from my office’s Slack channel, I’m not the only one who does this.

Block digital distractions with Freedom. They’re dedicated to developing “better ways of interacting with technology” so you’re with the right company here. They aim to give you more control over your social media habits so you can manage your time better and be more productive at work.

4. Concentrate with [email protected]

What type of music do you listen to when you’re working? [email protected], providing personalised, scientifically optimised music to increase your productivity, recommends you don’t put on that playlist of your favorite songs.

No matter how much you love singing about whether it’s too late to say sorry, it apparently decreases your productivity.

Backed by the Michael Vlock and Karen Pritzker Family Fund, they’ve raised $3.5 million to continue making rhythms in the productivity and music services sphere.

5. Monitor with RescueTime

How productive exactly are you? Y Combinator alumnus RescueTime is a cool data-driven app to help you understand your daily habits.

It runs in the background tracking how much time you’re spending on certain apps and websites, giving you a productivity score at the end of the day. It can’t see whether you’ve finished that spreadsheet, but it can tell you how long you’ve spent in Excel and in that open Facebook tab.

Those kinds of numbers give the right impetus to be more focused and productive.

Are you interested in other startups in the productivity and time management space? Keep up with them and others at Index.co.

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