10 apps to help you end procrastination and smash your to-do-lists

How is it that when we're at our busiest, we seem find time to do the most inconsequential of tasks. Instead of cleaning the house, we're baking cakes. Instead of finishing up that important paperwork, we are looking at holidays abroad, dreaming of golden beaches and blue skies. Everyone procrastinates, but luckily there are plenty of apps that can help keep you on track. Here we'll look over 10 of our favourites that we recommend you try out.

1 - Freedom

Beginning with one of the most hardcore anti-procrastination apps, we have the Freedom app. A programme which is used on Mac and Windows computers rather than phones. It helps you focus by cutting off access to specific websites during times that you specify. If you're addicted to social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, or you're constantly on the lookout for bargains on eBay then this can be a good method of staying on task.

Find out more here: https://freedom.to

2 - Todoist

Used by over 13 million people across the world, Todoist is one of the most popular productivity apps among desktop and mobile users alike. It's a powerful to-do-list app which helps you organize your tasks for the day. You can create sub-tasks, add priority levels, set up recurrent tasks and even invite friends or colleagues to share in your workload.

Find out more here: https://en.todoist.com/

3 - Trello

Trello works in a similar way to Todoist in that it can help you organize different tasks, albeit in a different way. Trello allows users to create 'cards' which can be added to 'boards' and assigned to different team members. You can add comments, attachments, photos and much more to the boards which all adds up to an immersive way of working that is great for people who work best with visuals.

Find out more here: https://trello.com

4 - Dart

Mac users delight! Dart is an app which allows you to send quick templated responses to emails in just a few clicks. This is especially useful if you find yourself having to send the same response day in and day out.

Find out more here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dart/id958199810?mt=12

5 - Write or Die

This app is also not for the faint hearted. With Write or Die, you set a target amount of words for a selected period of time – let's say 1000 words in 1 hour. If you fail to hit your target, and get distracted, then by the time you open your word document again the app will have deleted all the vowels from whatever copy you had written so far. While this might sound drastic it can be a good way to keep you focused when you need that little extra bit of encouragement to get whatever is in your head out on the page.

Find out more here: https://writeordie.com

6 – RescueTime

Most people waste a lot more of their working day than they actually realise. Whether through watching YouTube videos, surfing social media or reading the news, it's easy for those brief moments of daydreaming to begin to stack up and leave you falling behind. RescueTime is an app which records how long you spend in certain programmes and on specific websites so that you can understand what's going on. Once you know where time is wasted you can reclaim your time and, in the process, reduce your stress levels.

Find out more here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rescuetime.android&hl=en_GB

7 - Tomato Timer

One of the most common reasons that people procrastinate is that the task they have facing them is so big that it becomes intimidating. Tomato Timer uses the 'Pomodoro Technique' to help you smash whatever task is facing you. You set a timer for 25 minutes, work on the task until the time limit expires, take a short break, begin again and then after every four sets of 25 minutes you take a longer break of 10 minutes and repeat from the beginning!

Find out more here: https://tomato-timer.com/

8 – Forest

Whether you're working on something important, cleaning the house or just relaxing with your loved ones, increasingly many people find it difficult to detach themselves from their phones. The Forest app helps people to disconnect from the digital world by running a digital forest simulation on their phones. You set a timer and then lay your phone down. While your phone is on standby a virtual forest will begin to grow from seedling to tree to a full forest and if you try and check your phone you'll be prompted with messages like "don't look at me" and "get back to work". If you then exit the app then your forest will die. What's more when you successfully grow a forest you'll receive credits which actually go towards a real tree being planted through the charity Trees For The Future – what an incentive!

Find out more here: https://www.forestapp.cc/en/

9 – Music streaming services

For some people listening to music can really help them "dive in" to tasks that take an extra-level of concentration. Using apps like Spotify, Deezer and Google Music you can easily put together playlists of music that you can listen along to in the background while working on which ever tasks you have to complete. However, if you mind that music doesn't really work for you then podcasts can be a good alternative – especially if you're work is more hands on, or you have chores or housework to do and need something to keep you engaged.

10 – Mindfulness

Meditation is growing in popularity once again across the UK and indeed the world. Not only can meditation restore some calm in your life but it can also help you to be more productive and keep your thoughts on track to help you focus your energies. Mindfulness is an app which encourages you to take a few moments each day to partake in some guided meditation.

Find out more here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-mindfulness-app/id417071430?mt=8

What techniques do you use to stay on track? Let us know by tweeting us at @TimeforYouGroup. For more tips and advice articles please click here: https://timeforyou.cleaning/tips-and-advice/.