We can save a tremendous amount of time by becoming aware and eliminating distractions such as reading the news several times a day, using social media or watching YouTube. The 2700 years old Siren story can teach us about the importance of precommitment and why software for eliminating distractions might be the most useful tool we have for procrastination.
I’ve tried many ToDo software during the years but Evernote works together with Postbox (my mail client) which means that I can copy an email over to my ToDo list with a single click. It creates instant inbox zero when I’m going through my email and since Evernote is a note taking software, I can continue to add information to the tasks.
Read my detailed post on using Evernote as a ToDo list.
This is a tool everyone using a computer would benefit from. Just like people have difficulties estimating what they eat, we have difficulties figuring out where we spend our time. By using RescueTime, you’ll get detailed data on exactly how many minutes you spend on different sites and software. It’s not only interesting data but you can then use the information to blacklist all domains where you waste time.
The number one tool to increase your productivity. Once you’ve identified your time stealers, using RescueTime, you can blacklist all of the domains for a specific time. In the beginning, I used it when trying to work. Nowadays, I set the time for a few days ahead and enjoy my productive time without news & comedy sites, forums, etc. There’s no simple workaround and I wouldn’t recommend you to look for one.
Originally installed to remove all annoying ads, I found a new way to use the plugin. I regularly visit a forum to keep up with new questions in the fitness industry but one category began taking more and more time. Although I knew it was a waste of time, I had difficulties avoiding it – somewhat like driving past an accident. By using Adblock I managed to hide the whole category while still being able to read the other parts.
Concentrate is a bit more advanced than SelfControl when it comes to features thanks to being able to block software as well. Unfortunately, it’s extremely simple to go around the block so I’ve stopped using it although it can be useful for you. Instead, I use SelfControl to block APIs such as cloud.feedly.com which stops me from using my RSS reader simply because it can’t fetch any new content from Feedly.
For everyone using the Pomodoro Technique, I find Tadam to be quite good. It’s stylish, minimalistic and only shows as a circle in the menu bar so you’re never distracted by it. The idea is that you set a timer for e.g. 25 minutes and then focus 100% on the specific task until the time is over. Then you take a 5 minute break to walk around, check social media or do whatever you want until it’s time to restart the clock.
The best minimalistic writing tool out there. It supports markdown, fullscreen, blog publishing and iCloud; although, personally I save all of my documents on Dropbox so I can access them wherever I am. The minimalistic view blocks all kinds of distractions and you can focus on the writing just like using a typewriter or writing on paper, while still getting the advantages of a computer in terms of editing and sharing.