Focus Tools for 2019
Nobody is born with the ability to manage time well — that’s true whether you are a butcher, baker, candlestick maker or writer. In many ways, motivation is harder to keep when you do write for a living. You are surrounded by a virtual world, which is able to draw you away.
They say there is an app for everything. This is quite true. And there is more than one to help improve focus. Here are three of the newest tools that help writers write.
1. Get the Big Picture with Rescue Time
Rescue Time is a learning tool that points out how you spend every minute of your workday. It runs in the background of your computer or device to track how much time you spend browsing Facebook, the number of times you divert to Instagram and how many actual minutes you spend making money.
You have two choices with Rescue Time. The Lite version is free “forever” and gives you a weekly report highlighting what you are doing and when you are doing it. The premium plan does more but you must pay for it.
2. Procrastinate Much? Here’s Focus Booster
Focus Booster has some nice touches for writers like automatic timesheets, effective visual tools and a Pomodoro timer that tells you when it is time to take a break. This app will cost you a few pennies each month, though, because Focus Booster requires a subscription. The individual plan allows you to track 200 sessions a month for 2.99. The professional plan is unlimited sessions a month and productivity reporting for 4.99.
3. Make It Fun With Flora
Flora is a Pomodoro timer designed with college students in mind. The goal is to keep them off their phones. Writers can flip it around to make it work for them, however.
Start by downloading the app to your phone. To begin a work session, you plant a virtual seed. As you continue to work, the seed will grow into a nice tree.
If you get off track, punish yourself by picking up the phone and killing your tree before it matures. Unless you have a special sense of humor, that negative reinforcement will keep you working in the future.
If you would rather go old-school, there are some less high-tech methods to keep you focused at work. For example, there is always an egg timer. You can probably pick one up at your local dollar store. Just set the timer and work until you hear the bell. Or you can use this online version.
Also, start treating your work like what it is — a job, and be a tough boss. Decide what time each morning you should be at your desk, what time you can take breaks, and when you stop and go home. Which, for a writer, often means going back to life outside your office.
Time management isn’t an inherent skill but it is one that writer’s who want to succeed in the world of freelance must master. Make sure your toolbox has what you need to stay on track.
Editor’s Note: This blog post was written by nDash community member Darla Ferrara. Darla Ferrara is a full-time freelance writer who has ghostwritten memoirs for a successful entrepreneur and has created many bylines for popular publications. To learn more about Darla – or have her write content for your brand – check out her nDash writer profile.