What’s on my iPhone?
For years at school I was the queen of procrastination. Despite being ambitious, I couldn’t help but leave everything to the last minute, causing me endless amounts of stress, frequent sleepless nights and rock bottom energy levels. I was so easily distracted, and often found myself wasting hours of time on social media, almost as a way of escaping looming deadlines and expectations. I realised that I needed to find a way to better manage my time and my mind.
It was only after scrolling on the App Store, that I found I could use my iPhone as a helper rather than a hindrance. I discovered that there are thousands of apps geared towards increasing your productivity, focus, and encouraging you to use your time more efficiently.
So I tried out a bunch of productivity apps to see which ones suited me best. There were 3 apps that I absolutely loved, and continued to use throughout the rest of my time at school, college and still use today. I’m convinced that these apps really contributed to me achieving GCSE and A Level grades that I am proud of. I thought I’d let you know about them, in the hope that they might help you too if you need a bit of a productivity boost 🙂
The people at Forest describe this app as ‘the best cure to phone addiction’, and they’re not kidding. Forest is an app which discourages you from venturing onto social media or any other online distractions during a given time limit. When I first heard my college friends rave about this app, I was sort of sceptical and put off downloading it for ages. But although it is different, it really works.
When you have a task to do, you set a timer on the app and this plants a little virtual tree, which proceeds to grow as long as you don’t click off the app at any point. If you cave in to temptation, and leave the Forest app for any reason, the tree will die and you will have to start over. However, if you work for a solid 30 minutes whilst staying on the Forest app, you’ll end up with a fully-grown tree. Each tree represents your focused time, and will be added to your virtual forest which will grow with every focused study session.
What makes this app even better is that they are partners with Trees for the Future; a real tree planting organisation. So you can be sure that as you stay focused, and grow your virtual forest, that real trees are also being planted across the planet.
I know what you’re thinking, how can a virtual tree convince me to not get distracted by social media? I thought the same, but the app really puts me in the studying ‘zone’ and allows me to get tasks done much more efficiently.
I have always been the type of person who is the most unproductive when they feel the most overwhelmed. When I find myself having too much to do in too little time, I often don’t know where to start and my mind turns into a chaotic jumble of stress and inefficiency.
Wunderlist provided the perfect solution. The slogan for this app is ‘Keep your life in sync’, and it certainly helps you do just that. It’s a to-do list app, which allows you to categorise your lists. This helps you organise your tasks, creating structure in your life and making everything more manageable. Whether you’re planning a work project, sharing a shopping list with someone or managing your daily diary, Wunderlist lets you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos. You can also set due dates and reminders to keep your mind focused on the day ahead. The app really helped me meet deadlines and I became less overwhelmed by life when everything I needed to do was clearly categorised.
I love this app soo much. I believe that productivity starts with your mindset, and this app proved this to me. It’s perfect for when you are feeling overwhelmed, uninspired or just need to check in with how you’re feeling.
When you first click on the app, it asks ‘How are you?’ The screen dims and you take a few seconds to look inwards, and reflect on how you feel at that moment. It then prompts you to record how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. The app uses your answers to suggest different meditations tailored to your current mood such as ‘relax, ground and clear’ or ‘mindful eating’. It encourages you to stop what you are doing, check in with what you are thinking, feeling and to practice mindful breathing to ‘create space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions’.
I found this really helped me to broaden and change my perspective in order to increase my productivity and focus, altered my frame of mind within just a few minutes.
Give these apps a download to see how the power of technology may support you in your everyday life in ways you may not expect. Like me, you might be surprised. Let me know how you get on 🙂