It’s that time of year where there are mid-module assessments and tests coming at you left right and centre, forcing the sad realisation that it’s time to get your shit together. But how? With social media being a huge distraction, social events taking up a lot of your time and of course, spontaneous outings to the Hancock when you were meant to be going the Marj eating up those precious hours…where is there time left to work?
To one’s surprise, there should actually be a lot of time left to study. 24 hours a day. Working 4 hours a day is very much possible, leaving 20 hours for you to do whatever you want. Say you take these 4 hours out to study every day and it’s still not working for you, something must be going wrong. Whether it’s your work ethic, distractions around you or general loss of motivation, productivity apps are really useful and will help you get on top of things. Some of these apps can be expensive, so I’m going to offer ones that work without having to pay a pretty penny.
Tide is a white noise app that can drown out the sounds of your distractions at home or offer you a bit of comfort when you’re on a silent floor in the library. It lets you set a timer for a work interval where the white noise will play, when the set amount of time is over it will remind you take a break. Even better for your productivity, when you enable a setting called ‘Flip Focus,’ you must have your phone face down through the entire session. If you’re a social media addict this could really work for you. Sounds of rain and the ocean are automatically included for free, but you can purchase other sounds for £0.99 each. The app may also be useful if you’re not sleeping well, as the relaxing sound may help lull you to sleep. Considering that it’s free then, Tide can really help you get on top of your studies by taking the distraction of your phone away.
As academics, us students love lists. We love them so much in fact, making them sometimes actually prevents us from completing the tasks in them. One of the best apps for this is definitely todolist. It allows you to note tasks you need to complete and group them into different categories, such as Shopping, Uni Work, Household etc. It creates productivity graphs that are colour coded with the section they belong to, so you can visually see where you have been most productive by completing your tasks. A good idea may be to designate a colour to each module you’re doing as it will allow you to spread your time across all modules well. As they say, the best things are simple but effective, and this free app is just that.
Forest, a personal favourite, is definitely one of the best productivity apps on the market. It has a similar function to Tide, where it prevents you from going on your phone for the amount of time you have set it. But what’s most exciting about this standout app is that when you begin the timer, you plant a shrub or a tree (it depends how long your session is going to be) which will heartbreakingly die if you go on any other apps on your phone. The motivation to keep your wholesome little plant alive will undoubtedly prevent you from going on your phone for the set period – it may sound slightly ridiculous, but trust me, it’s super cute and it works! If the virtual tree isn’t enough to motivate you, you can exchange your virtual achievements of planting trees to reality, where real trees can be planted in a real forest. This means your productivity will lead to a better environment for us all. As you grow your virtual forest, you will see how luscious it becomes. Plus, if you buddy up with your friend in a productivity room, you each get 2 shrubs/trees per session instead of one. If baby tree planting can’t motivate you, what can? Priced at £1.99 for all features, increasing productivity is a steal here.
I really believe that these apps work and are especially useful if you get your friends in on them too, as when you have a break you can do so together. Happy working!