Startup life requires the management of multiple projects and roles at once, but many necessary tasks require complete and undisturbed focus. Anyone who works for an early stage company should know this going in, but it’s not always easy to turn off the rest of the world while hammering through the work. Luckily, startups can turn to their own industry for help. There are a lot of great applications and technologies available to help professionals become more productive and stay focused. Here are three great ones for blocking out the rest of the world, err the internet, and getting things done.
Focus Booster is a time tracking tool that helps to improve focus as well. Using the Pomodoro technique, Focus Booster allows you to plan intervals of both work and rest, resulting in more complete focus on the work at hand. Although difficult to implement in high distraction environments, the app can be a great tool to keep you working at high efficiency when needed, and may even help to train better focus. Both a web app and download are available, so using Focus Booster does not require an internet connection. And best of all, it’s free to try!
Even the best of us get sucked into Facebook news feed updates, Buzzfeed’s infinite gif reels and CNN news headlines (ok, maybe that last one is just me). Enter StayFocused, a Google Chrome extension that lets you limit the time you can spend on the sites that waste your time the most. The extension is highly customizable, allowing you to pick and choose the sites you want to block, as well as the amount of time you will allow yourself to visit them. There is even a nuclear option that will block sites permanently for a set period, should those kitten pictures be just unbearably cute that day. You can create recurring settings based on day and time, and can set a challenge that users must complete before being allowed to edit the settings. There is so much more, but you will have to check it out to see.
Some bad habits are obvious time wasters, but there may be things you read, places you visit and people you talk to that waste way more time that you thought before. Rescue time brings the data on you, to you. While it touts other features like website blocking, the true value lies in the ability to visualize and analyze how you spend your time. It also allows you to log highlights throughout your day to better track what you accomplish. The program runs fairly light in the background while you work, causing minimal issues, and then follows up with reports.