There are some really useful apps to help you keep track of work tasks, manage your screen time and block out distractions. Picture: NeedPix.
There are some really useful apps to help you keep track of work tasks, manage your screen time and block out distractions. Picture: NeedPix.

5 apps to help you manage your screen time better

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Apr 6, 2020

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Whether you’re working from home or continuing your studies via e-learning, finding the motivation to stay focused can be difficult, especially when all your favourite distractions are either online or on your cell phone. 

Luckily, for all the procrastinators out there, there are ways to keep track of work tasks, manage screen time better and block out distractions with the assistance of various apps and phone settings.

5 apps to help you manage your time better:

Stay focused

Without being in your regular working environment - be it your office or the university library - you may be finding it tough to stay on track with work. 

Plus, there are just so many distractions, literally at arm’s reach - and yes, we’re talking about cell phones. If Instagram and YouTube are eating away at your productivity, perhaps you need a new motivation to stay focused. 

The Forest App is an amazing tool for spurring productivity. It helps people beat their phone addiction and manage their time in an interesting and pleasant way. 

When users steer clear of using their cell phones for an extended period of time, they earn credits which can be used to plant real trees around the world. You can also nurture your very own virtual garden which grows bigger and greener the longer you stay off your phone.

Keep a log of what you do every day

If you’re losing track of the date time with all the days of lockdown melding into one big mass you can barely recall, you aren’t alone. 

It’s so easy to fall into the Netflix and chill abyss when you aren’t sticking to a routine and this may be because you aren’t managing your time properly. 

One of the most helpful ways to keep a check on what tasks need to be completed is to log everything in a journal. The Bullet Journal was designed to keep the complexity of managing multiple tasks to a minimum to make room for more productivity. 

Whether it's studying for an exam, organising your home life or keeping on top of work, the app provides users with the tools to get things done. The integration of a habit tracker also enables users to turn routines into habits with advanced scheduling options.

Manage your screen time on Apple devices

Keep track of which mobile activity is draining most of your time and eating away at productivity with Screen Time. This setting is available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch devices and lets you know how much time you and your kids spend on apps, websites, and more. This way, you can make more informed decisions about how you use your devices, and set limits if you'd like to. 

Manage your screen time on Android devices

Google’s suite works similarly to Apple’s. Search for the “Digital Wellbeing/Balance” setting on your phone and you’ll be directed to a chart that shows which apps take up most of your time. You can manage restrictions on various apps to ensure that you don't spend more time than you have watching series or scrolling through Twitter.

Block distractions

It’s way too easy to open up a new tab on your browser mid-work-session and log onto Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or Reddit. Fortunately, with Mindful Browsing, you can decide which sites you'd like to be mindful about your time on, and provide a list of things you should probably be doing instead (like checking all those emails). Mindful Browsing doesn't block you from visiting sites - it simply asks if you'd like to visit, and if so, nudges you 10 minutes later.

But, if a gentle reminder to be more mindful with your time doesn’t cut it, StayFocusd certainly will. The Chrome extension helps you stay on track with work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.


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