Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

PRODUCTIVITY, SELF

Stress-Managing Apps

How to remain productive for longer

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

With the current pandemic, it’s no surprise stress levels are on the increase. Whether you’re a freelancer, employee, or company director, you’ve probably had to make some changes to your regular work routine.

Exasperated clients, missed deadlines, long meetings with no clear direction and bad timing are all factors that can add up to increased stress levels. Perhaps the worst hit are those who have launched something new, only to see the pandemic slump their sales.

Situational anxiety is more than justified, it’s understandable.

I’ve found online teaching mentally and emotionally demanding. It’s hard to stay motivated, work efficiently, and find time to unwind when you’re confined to a single area.

Thankfully, there are a few options. Here are some of the best apps to reduce stress and remain productive from behind a screen.

Oak Meditation

According to the Harvard Heart Letter, nearly 60% of individuals who considered themselves prone to anxiety reported feeling calmer after a meditation session.

Oak Meditation is a free app for iOS users that reminds you to take regular breaks throughout your workday to meditate. It’s a great way to step away from your desk to recharge once in a while.

In order to remain productive, a short break or mediation session is crucial to regain your senses after a period of intense focus.

Asana Rebel

Available on iOS and Android, Asana Rebel is a yoga app with a limited free plan (paid plans start at $9.99 per month). Similar to mediation, yoga can also significantly reduce stress and anxiety considerably.

The app provides you with various yoga sessions, allowing you to have a relaxing workout without resorting to a yoga couch (all things considered, $9.99 is a bit of a bargain.)

A short yoga session in the comfort of your own home or workplace will surely help ease any pent up tension, leaving you refreshed.

WorkFrom

One of the biggest challenges I found with online teaching is staying on track. It’s hard to remain motivated and focused while teaching remotely. Meeting deadlines and performing to your best requires a disciplined mind as well as focus.

WorkFrom is a brilliant tool that creates virtual cafes where you can connect with others in a similar situation and share your current projects. It can even connect you to real workspaces in your area, such as coffee shops and offices.

It’s a great way to find the motivation you need to focus on your work as well as network with other, like-minded people facing similar challenges.

WorkFrom is available for iOS and Android for free.

Notion

Admittedly, this one took me a while to get used to. Notion helps you start on a project in a very organized manner. With a bit of practice; personal tasks, admin work, clients, and any other miscellaneous jobs can all be managed from one place.

Notion is particularly effective for freelancers who want to get more work done by collaborating with others. Various apps can be synched to it, making it possible to access and send your tasks from anywhere on the web.

Notion is available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Web. It has a limited free plan and paid plans starting from $4/month.

Toggl

If you’re like me, it’s not the first time you didn't stick to your timetable.

This is where Toggl comes in.

Toggl helps reduce stress from colliding schedules. Essentially, it’s a time tracking app that helps you stay on top of your most important tasks.

It allows you to keep track of how much time you’re spending on each task (or customer, if you use it for teleworking). The time log feature is excellent and allows you to see where you’re spending the most time. Knowing this will allow you to be more productive and efficient with your tasks.

There’s also a calendar syncing feature (I love this) that helps make sure your appointments don’t overlap. It automatically notifies you when a booked appointment is approaching and will track the time you spend on the ongoing task.

Toggl is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Web for free. Paid plans with additional features start from $10/month.

Freedom

Procrastination is the thief of time. Overcoming it allows you to be so much more productive. Freedom is an app that allows you to focus on your work by shutting out all distractions on your devices.

This one is particularly popular with startup freelancers and writers. Using it couldn’t be easier; you turn it on, and your social networks and most distracting websites are disabled. Time to get to work — Freedom won’t allow you to access the websites you choose.

“Well, can’t you just turn it off?”

I tried, but it didn't let me get off track that easily.

Once turned on, you have to restart your device to access the apps or pages you barred. A hassle? Sure, but it’s supposed to be. Might as well finish your task before restarting.

Freedom is available for Mac, Windows, and iOS and costs $29.99/month.

The Moral Of The Story

Stress has a tendency to slow us down. Thanks to a few, well-chosen apps we can reduce stress levels and remain productive for longer.

Keeping our own mental health in mind while working is essential. Mindfulness apps can also help you stay focused under normal circumstances, leading to less wasted time.

Remember — while you don’t need a library of fancy apps to remain productive, a few good resources can help mitigate stress, overcome procrastination, and maximize your ability to get things done.

Good Luck!

Daniel is a writer, senior teacher, and geographer based in Malta. His main passion is empowering students to fulfill their aspirations and reach their goals.

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Daniel Caruana Smith

Daniel Caruana Smith

Daniel is a writer, senior teacher and geographer based in Malta. His main passion is empowering students to fulfill their aspirations and reach their goals.

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