How many times have you planned to have the most productive work day ever, only to spend the first few hours of the day doing everything but the task at hand? If this sounds like some of your mornings, don’t fret. It can happen to the best of us. Teamstage reports that 98% of workers say they are interrupted at least three or four times during the workday, and since it takes more than 23 minutes to fully recover from a distraction, companies lose a lot of hours as a result of non-focused employees.
Whether it’s emails, social media, chit-chat with co-workers or even hunger that’s distracting you, it’s tough to stay productive when our devices offer so much to do other than work.
Thankfully, you can improve your productivity using internet add-ons and other business technologies that help speed up your workflow and decrease distractions. Check out some of the best options below.
Imagine having your notifications from all of your work programs in one place. No more switching back and forth between three or four different screens when you want to check between Sprintly, Asana and Gmail applications.
If you’re someone who uses numerous programs throughout your workday like Trello, Jira, Gmail, Salesforce, Basecamp, Slack and Zendesk, then Taco can improve your productivity.
Available for Chrome, Taco is a free add-on that includes your notifications from more than 40 services on one screen, and you can organize notifications into tasks that are up next and tasks that are for later. An entire task list from all programs on a single screen? Yes please!
Save to Pocket
If you get distracted by news articles, celebrity lists, YouTube videos, or other online content throughout the workday, Save to Pocket can help you save this content for a better time.
Available for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Yandex and more, Save to Pocket lets you save articles, images, videos or links by clicking on the Pocket button on the toolbar. You can also right-click and choose “save to pocket,” or use control+shift+P (command instead of control for Mac users).
When you have time later on, you can go to your Pocket and watch or read the content that distracted you.
Pocket can also be helpful for students or those who work in certain industries like media or research. You can save medical journals, scientific research, study information or videos to help with projects.
Available for Chrome, StayFocused helps you self-regulate. You can set a time limit, after which you can’t access certain parts of the web you find distracting. After your time is up, you won’t be able to go on Instagram, Facebook or Steam (if you deem those sites as distractions).
This add-on lets you block or allow things like webpages, subdomains, paths, pages, or notifications. For anyone who has trouble keeping their eye on the task at hand, StayFocused is an ideal choice because it’s user-controlled. You know your distractions better than anyone.
Keep in mind; however, that you have to have some level of self-control to make this app work its best.
Available as an extension for Chrome, PeopleSmart makes it easier to build contact lists and profiles for business associates and potential customers.
Using LinkedIn, you can quickly get access to phone numbers, email addresses and other data for just about anyone (even if they're not one of your connections). The extension works intuitively, so you can just browse as normally, and get contact info for prospects as you enter names into the search bar. You can also take advantage of other neat perks like full reports, custom lists and an add notes feature.
For sales professionals, telemarketers, recruiters and media professionals looking to find a source, or legal professionals looking to contact a specific person, this tool can speed up the process.
An alternative to GoogleKeep, NoteLedge is a note-taking application that lets you take notes and add annotations while you’re working on the web. You can create sketches, collages, mood boards and create PDFs of your notes.
Ideal for educators, students, software engineers, journalists, artists and a variety of other professionals, NoteLedge makes it easy for you to copy and subsequently alter whatever you want off of the web.
Similar to Skitch but only better, Markup Hero lets you quickly and easily capture and share screenshots. Instead of pressing control+print screen, and then editing your screenshot in a photo editor, Markup Hero does everything in one place.
You can add arrows, text, signatures and take advantage of a plethora of other handy tools. Markup Hero works with Google Chrome, Drive, and Slack.You can also integrate it into a web app via the developer API tool.
A lot of people who work from home do so because of the flexible scheduling telecommuting affords to workers. A 2021 survey by Gartner found that 43% of respondents said flexibility made them more productive. Oftentimes, this flexibility means working after hours though. For workers who are getting their tasks done outside of normal business hours, it might be difficult to decide whether or not to send an email to a client, manager, or co-worker who might be using that time as personal time.
The Boomerang add-on lets you send emails on a schedule. You can compose an email and schedule it to be sent first thing the following morning, for instance. Available for Gmail, Outlook, and mobile, Boomerang can also do things like help you write better emails, pause your inbox when you’re busy or remind you to follow up with an associate.