I'm woefully susceptible to procrastination or working ineffectively in attempts to reach a goal. Easily distracted and prone to overwhelm isn't the best of combinations, so often I need a little bit of help to make me do the things. I've been experimenting with a couple of options I've found to make myself more productive in the last couple of months, and thought I'd share the ones that have been working best for me - in case any of you also suffer from these sort of demons and wanted to tame them slightly.
I've spoken about forest before, and I do love it... when I remember to use it. It's fab for making sure I don't look at my phone during the amount of time I set it for, which equals one less distraction. They also have a laptop version, where you can block certain sites for a set amount of time. It's definitely something that helps me be more present and effective in my studying/writing, and lets me know when I need to take a break once the chunk of time is up. The only issue is... me... remembering it's there. fab app though
rewire: play store
technically a habit tracking app, you can set yourself 5 things to track on the free version, and tick them off daily when they're done. You can choose to set yourself push notifications/alarms so that it asks you to input data daily, which is useful because I'm a lil' bit forgetful. Being reminded at points I choose during the day helps me actually do the thing was procrastinating.
inb4 trend-bandwagoning, I actually began bullet journalling to a degree at the start of this academic year to see if it would help me increase my productivity. And it has. I've only really started doing it ~properly~ - or properly for myself since I don't actually follow the guide set out that most people do - since January, but it has actually revolutionised my life a little bit. I'm toying with the idea of doing a post about it later in the year once I've found something that I settle with monthly, at the moment I'm still experimenting, but it has helped me focus and prioritise.
i can find it really hard to start concentrating in absolute silence, something about it makes my mind work in ways I don't want it to. If I study with a group then there's always a chance that I'll devolve into talking about everything over studying content, but I like having the dull background noise of something to stop me going stir crazy. Rainymood is a website that plays the sound of a rainstorm to help focus, and coffitivity plays a scientifically concocted coffee shop atmosphere - both are things that I use to help me get into a writing mood, or if that doesn't work I'll bring up instrumental study music on youtube or 8tracks.
another app, and ... it's a fitness one, which may make people run for the hills or question my sanity, but I find that it actually helps me be more productive. By not sitting around contemplating life in my study breaks (because breaks are good, gotta remember to have breaks) and actually doing something, I can put my mind on focus elsewhere but still feel like I'm not stagnating - something which completely kills any productive streak. Exercise is also really good for keeping you happy and healthy, and sworkit is fab because you can set the amount of time you want to 'work out' for, and it creates little routines for you. No hassle at all, you just follow along and zone out for a bit :D
So far, when I remember to use these, whether all at once, in various combinations, or solo, I definitely feel that my levels of productivity and effectiveness increases. Other things can also affect your productivity - like lack of sleep and proper hydration, so make sure that if you're having trouble focusing that maybe fiddling around with your sleep schedule or your water intake may help :)