To achieve work-life balance it’s important to know when to focus on specific tasks, when to take breaks and when to look for help.
As of the first quarter of 2019, there were over 2.6 million Android apps and 2.2 million iOS apps available for users to choose from and in 2018, a massive 194 billion app downloads were made.
Here are 8 apps to help relieve some of your work stresses, improve your concentration and overall, help you through your working day.
When you know you spend too much time on apps…
It happens to everyone at some point: you forget how long you’ve spent going through your social media feeds, catching up on news, memes and updates from friends, and somehow you’ve landed in a black hole of endless scrolling.
Put a cap on how long you should spend on certain apps or just on your phone in general. Some apps, like Instagram, have already put into place optional time alerts, which will send you a notification when you’ve reached a certain amount of time spent on the app.
Both Android and Apple devices also feature their own screen monitoring software, which also help you get better control over the apps that are taking over your life. They allow you to set time limits, set downtimes and place your phone on ‘do not disturb’ for set hours.
If you would prefer to install an app to help curb your habits, SPACE has been listed by Google as an ‘Essential App’. This app helps to track your habits and behaviours and create more space in your life by spending less time on your phone.
When you’re feeling stressed at work…
Feeling drained and overwhelmed at work? Are long hours and tight deadlines getting to you?
If you are under too much stress at work, you could risk causing damage to your concentration, job satisfaction and general health. 595,000 workers in the UK suffered from work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18.
To help combat this, use apps that can track your wellbeing and give you inspiration for meditation.
Pause is an app that’s ideal for those who just want to shut off for a minute and sink into mindfulness, allowing their stresses to slip away and relaxation to begin. With the app, you move your finger across your screen, at a steady pace and by focusing on the slow motion on the screen, you can give yourself a moment to pause.
When you need to get organised…
Your phone already has built in apps to help you stay organised, you just might not be utilising them to their full extent. Dust off the cobwebs of your calendar, set reminders for work meetings and events, and make quick notes on you notepad all without taking up space on your phone with another app.
If you are after an app that will solely help you to capture ideas on the go, syncing back to your work computer and other devices, then Evernote is for you.
Evernote allows you to save notes, auto-sync across devices and also share lists and notes with others. You can input handwritten notes, add photos, web pages and even audio, giving you one space to put everything. They offer both free and paid for plans.
When you can’t sleep before work or have trouble waking up…
To help keep your energy high, it’s important that you have a good amount of sleep each night. If you know you’re not getting enough, it’s time to set yourself a new target. Two thirds of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep and 58% of those under 35 hit the snooze button at least once in the morning. But how do you make waking up in the morning easier?
Sleep Cycle allows you to track your sleep and analyse what you need to get a good night’s sleep and what keeps you up at night. All you need to do is place your phone on a bedside table, Sleep Cycle will then keep track of your sleeping patterns through the night and wake you up when you are sleeping at your lightest. This way, you wake up slowly and gently, and not to the sound of a raging alarm clock.
When you want to save those articles to read later…
Do you find yourself scrolling through your news feeds, even if you don’t have time to read those articles? Or did you just get a notification about something but don’t have the time to stop and read it?
Pocket is an app that allows you to save a variety of items all in one place, so that you can read them later. You can save articles, videos and stories all from different publications, websites and apps so that when you do have time, you have a curated personal feed waiting for you. The app also lets you read content while offline, downloading the content virtually, which is great for those wanting to save themselves from using up data when on the move.
When you want to track your goals…
If you’re looking to set goals both in your personal and professional life, Strides is here to help you.
The app allows you to track anything you want, offering you a completely flexible platform to set goals, create good habits and correct bad ones, helping you stay focussed with visual charts. You can get started by setting daily, weekly and monthly goals. If you’re worried about forgetting, Strides simply send you reminders to keep you on track. The only drawback is that it isn’t available on Android yet.
When you need to track your working hours…
Whether you are a manager trying to better control your teams working hours or a freelancer juggling multiple jobs, it’s important to track your time spent on each project. Toggl is both a mobile app and desktop app that allows you and your team to log the hours spent on projects, meaning less time checking in on the status of things.
You can create time sheets and reports for different projects, calculate how much your time per hour is worth, and auto sync all of your timings, no matter what device you are working on. Toggl allows you to set timers, tracking reminders and it will pick up on idle time and let you adjust the timings later. It is a perfect fit for managers and freelancers alike who need to keep on track of their hours.
When you need to stay focused on different tasks…
Many people struggle to stay focussed on one task; easily getting distracted by the simplest things.
Focus Keeper adopts the Pomodoro Technique, which aims to get you to work solidly for a set period of time and then you can reward yourself with a break, before repeating the cycle. Taking a break from our screens is something that many of us forget to do but this app aims to help you with that. You can manage tasks and progress throughout the day leading to increased visibility and higher productivity.