Achieving peak productivity is a very popular topic in the business and personal development space. After all, how can we make money if we aren’t actually getting anything done?
Whereas there previously never really was anything to help with your productivity other than sheer focus and willpower, we’re now living in an age where there are tons of tools, apps and hacks to help you get the important stuff done.
Here are 10 productivity tools business owners should use for peak productivity, as tested by me.
Brain.fm is like a radio station to help you focus. They use specific sounds backed by science to help you get in the mood to work. They claim on their site that it only takes about 10 minutes for the music to start affecting you.
I had a pretty big writing day ahead of me so I’m actually listening to Brain.fm as I write this article. It’s helped me write over 6,000 words in a relatively short amount of time.
I’ve tried other types of music similar to this, including Spotify playlists and some Brain.fm competitors, but I have found this one to be the most effective for me.
Newsfeed Eradicator for Facebook
The Newsfeed Eradicator for Facebook is not just one of my favorite tools for peak productivity, it’s also one of my favorite tools for keeping my overall sanity.
The premise is simple. This browser extension replaces your Facebook newsfeed with a motivational quote.
It’s simple yet totally brilliant. Now when I find myself wanting to piddle around on Facebook I literally can’t because there’s nothing there. It also saves me from tons of anguish over political posts and fake news. My blood pressure is very grateful for this app.
Pomodoro Time App
The Pomodoro Technique is a method of productivity that encourages you to go hard for 25 minutes and then rest for five. It’s a technique I’ve used every now and again, especially if I find myself procrastinating on a project.
Traditionally, you would have to buy a timer that looks like a Pomodoro tomato (Get it? Pomodoro?) Now, there are plenty of apps for your phone and desktop that do the same thing as the traditional timer does.
SelfControl For Mac
SelfControl is a free app for Mac that allows you to block specific websites for any given period of time. It’s fantastic for peak productivity because even if you want to procrastinate, you literally can’t.
I personally use it to block the websites I know I’ll use to procrastinate. I’ll even block my email so that I focus on the task at hand instead of being reactive to whatever is in my inbox.
Asana is the project management system I use with my team to delegate tasks to other people. It’s free for up to 15 people and it’s a color coding list maker’s dream come true.
Here are some of the reasons I personally love Asana for helping me reach peak productivity:
- I communicate with my team inside the app instead of via email. Therefore, it gets rid of email clutter.
- I can create different projects and assign them different lists, colors and team members. This helps me keep tabs on the multiple things I have going on.
- Did I mention it’s free?
- I can communicate sensitive information with my manager without other team members seeing it.
- You have the option to use boards instead of lists, though I personally dig the lists.
- You can track the progress of a project over time.
- If I’m on the road and don’t really have access to a computer, I can see what’s going on via an app.
- I can set recurring tasks for things that happen on a regular basis. This saves oodles of time.
Now, depending on your business, you may prefer another project management system. I know tons of graphic designers who go gaga for Basecamp and other small business owners who prefer a good old paper planner. I’d experiment with different systems to see what works best for you.
OneTab is exactly what it sounds like. It takes all of your open tabs and turns them into one tab with a list of the different webpages you have open.
This is perfect for easy scanning. As an aside, it’s also great if you need to do a screen share and don’t want people to see your open tabs. It also reduces your memory by 95 percent.
RescueTime is a productivity and time tracking app that monitors how you’re spending your time each day. It gives you an accurate depiction of how you’re spending your time so that you can design your day better.
What’s really cool is that unlike traditional time tracking apps which only track billable hours, RescueTIme also tracks how much time you’re wasting. For example, it’ll track how much time you’ve spent on Facebook.
Other cool features include setting goals and setting alarms so that you can challenge yourself and get back to the work that actually matters. This is by far one of the most useful apps if you’re trying to attain peak productivity.
Have you ever seen that meme that says “I spent 75% of my adult life resetting my password”? Well, that was me until I started using LastPass.
LastPass securely stores all of your passwords so you never have to waste time resetting your password again. I use it on my own computer and my team members use it on theirs as well.
Even something as simple as not having to reset your password can go a long way in achieving peak productivity during your work day.
So ZenDesk isn’t a productivity app as much as it’s a customer service hub, but it does save me and my team a ton of time. We use it as a self-serve customer service center we can refer people to whenever they have questions about services or products.
Google Drive is what we use for file sharing. It connects with Asana and allows for collaboration within the documents themselves. Many a team project has been created within Google Drive and we use it to store social media assets, photos, audio etc,
Reaching peak productivity is an ever evolving process as you find what works best for you and your business. Try giving some of these tools and apps a try the next time you want to step up your game.