How much of your time throughout the workday is spent doing activities that move the needle in your business? With distractions leaping toward us at every turn it’s difficult to remain focused on tasks and projects that desperately need our time and attention. Instead, we spend the majority of our day—approximately five hours—unfocused or doing unproductive work. Now, more than ever, time management tools and techniques can be lifesavers when it comes to making the most of the workday while also avoiding burnout.
Here are four of the best time management apps to help you do just that:
Most Executives are familiar with the term “sprint”, a set period of time in which activities are all focused on one outcome. A time management method, known as Pomodoro, offers a similar concept but on a much smaller scale. Those who use the Pomodoro technique keep themselves on track by setting a timer for 25 minutes and then taking a quick (but important) five-minute break. Focus is a time management app that uses the Pomodoro method to get important work done fast.
What’s nice about Focus is that it keeps you on track with one single activity but doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. Focusing for 25 minutes is easy knowing you’ll soon have a break. And speaking of breaks, this time management app makes sure you actually take them, something many CEOs struggle to do.
Quick tip: When you find yourself procrastinating on a task or project, use Focus to quickly get it off your plate with a few rounds of Pomodoro.
If there’s anyone that hates to lose it’s a CEO. A unique time management app, Forest, is taking productivity to a whole new level using gamification. Whenever you need to focus, plant a virtual tree on the Forest app. If you leave the app too soon (there’s also a Chrome extension), your tree will die. Continue to use your time wisely and you’ll end up with a beautiful forest full of lush trees (and some coins as a reward).
Not only does Forest keep you motivated to remain focused, but it also partners with Trees for the Future. After earning coins, you can cash them in and have real trees planted on your behalf. This is a time management tool that’s simultaneously doing good for you and the planet.
Quick tip: Have your team use the Forest app, too, and see how many trees your company can plant together (both virtually and in real life).
3. Rescue Time
Serving as a highly intuitive time management tool for the analytical CEO, Rescue Time stays with you throughout the day. As it sits in the taskbar of your computer, Rescue Time gets to know you and your patterns and gives you a daily Focus Work Goal. The app looks at your meeting schedule and squeezes focused time around it.
Rescue Time blocks certain websites that distract you (based on your online habits) and also tells you exactly what kept you from staying productive. With the ability to look back on your day and realize how much time you gained (or wasted), Rescue Time is the one time management tool that actually helps Executives measure their focus.
Quick tip: Set Focus Sessions throughout the day to limit distractions and hit your Focus Work Goal.
Time management isn’t only important for you as a leader. Imagine how much more productive your team can be if you help them improve their own productivity skills. Toggl is a time tracking tool that allows the entire company to stay efficient and on point.
This is a tool that works well for project management and gives you an overall view of your team’s capacity. If your time management skills are strong but your team needs encouragement in this area, Toggl may be the right time management tool to implement company-wide.
Quick tip: Use Toggl to ensure your entire team is operating at peak productivity while also keeping track of projects.
Time management tools are only effective when you actually use them. Make a commitment to yourself to try one of these apps for a week. If it works, continue using it and see how much time you save in your day. Once you find the best time management app for your schedule, go ahead and share it with your team. Watch as work becomes more focused and productivity increases for everyone.