3 of the best productivity tools for hacking your time

There's even one for Linux

If you want to be more productive, you’ll get much better results if you invest in a few powerful tools rather than relying on willpower. One of the guests on my podcast recently referred to these tools as “debugging for our minds,” which I think is a perfect analogy: it’s about getting rid of the distractions that keep us from performing at our best.

So, ready to start getting stuff done? Here are my top 3 tools for improving your productivity:

1. Focus at Will

  • iOS, Android, web
  • 15-day free trial, then around £6 a month

This neuroscience-based music service helps you focus, reduce distractions and retain information when working, studying, writing and reading. Basically, it’s Spotify for busy people.

Focus at Will also tracks what types of music and energy level settings keep you most focused and productive so you can personalise your listening experience for optimum results.

2. Rescue Time

  • Mac, PC, Android, Linux
  • Lite edition is free, Premium is around £6 a month

Gamifying your life can really motivate you to storm through your do-to list. RescueTime is one way of doing that: it tracks the time you spend on certain websites and shows you how you spent your week. And it’s free. The paid version has much more in-depth data, but I don’t think you necessarily need it.

I’m a big advocate of awareness in every area of your life. Once you start tracking and seeing real data about what you’re spending – whether it’s money or time – it’s much easier to make changes and shift your habits.

3. Stay Focusd

  • Google Chrome
  • Free

A nifty tool thats makes it really hard for you to check Facebook every 10 minutes. Stay Focusd is a Chrome extension that lets you choose websites you know to be dangerous for your productivity, and allocate a certain amount of time for them throughout the working day. When that time’s up, if you want to visit the site, Stay Focusd sets you a nightmare puzzle to crack. It’s tough love, but sometimes tough love is what we need.

Those are the top 3 productivity tools I use every day to track my workflow. Whether you want to try one, two, or the whole package, I definitely recommend experimenting with productivity challenges and tracking, and seeing what works for you.

Got a suggestion of your own? Tweet us: @GadgetteHQ.

You’ll find more of Fab’s tips and time hacking tricks at her website, The Passion Junkie.

Main image © iStock/David Hills