5 Unconventional Productivity Tools That Will Maximize Your Efficiency

productivity tools

This is a guest post by Paige Donahue – a blogger and editor from Pennsylvania. She is an introvert who loves traveling the world. Gifted with a rich imagination and a talent for the written word, she enjoys penning stories and sharing her adventures. You can connect with her via Twitter and Google+.

All writers have experienced that panicky feeling of being stuck in a rut, unable to move forward and nowhere to turn back. But most of the times, only the right productivity tools separate them from doing their best and most creative work.

The inability to produce work can strike at the most inopportune times, and for no apparent reason. No matter how hard you try, the words simply will not come. If you have the worse luck, it will happen in the face of an approaching deadline (which could actually be the reason why!).

You don’t even have to be a professional writer to experience this. Writing is inescapable — school papers, work memos, client presentations , post for your blogs, and so on. In this age of digital distraction, it’s going to be a tough battle to get work done unless you use the help of the productivity tools out there.

To help you get out of the rut, here are 5 great ones, with which you can achieve more in less time:

The Productivity Tools You Need to Work Better

1. Anti-Social

It may sound a bit, er, anti-social, but this online app is actually a great way to boost productivity. It blocks distracting sites such as social networks like Twitter and Facebook that wastes hours on procrastination.

Anti-Social helps keep your eye on the ball by keeping your attention from wandering. It is easy to customize the sites to block and time your work hours. Once you make your settings and activate the app, it is hard to turn it off and give in to temptation. It works perfectly well with Windows and Mac.

Some people think it expensive to pay $15 to download an app that only does the one thing. The thing is, it does it very well, so it is money well spent. If you try it and don’t think it is worth it, you can always use the 60-day money back guarantee.

2. PomodoroApp

This time management tool uses the Pomodoro technique to improve productivity using the Getting Things Done (GTD) method.

It is really quite simple. It involves four cycles of 25-minute work, and 5-minute break, except the fourth cycle break is slightly longer at 15 to 20 minutes. The basic idea is that working in short bursts keeps the mind fresh and running like well-oiled machinery.

The app also allows you to plan your tasks, track your productivity, and generate reports even with the completely free version. If you need to back up your data and sync with your Android device, you can get their paid service for $1.99 a month.

The app will soon have a version for multiple users, where you can sign up to 12 people for $49.99 a month, ideal for keeping track of your workers’ productivity. As a freelancer, however, the free version should give you a great workout.

Related: Master How You Spend Your Time with 10 Proven Time Management Hacks

3. Coffitivity

Many experts recommend going someplace else when you are having problems with getting your writing done.

Many writers find coffee shops a good place to get some work done. However, there may be many reasons why you might not be able to get to your favorite coffee shop. You could be too busy or too broke, house sitting for a friend, or waiting for an important phone call.

Whatever the reason you can’t get to your favorite coffee shop, you can still experience the ambiance that for some reason helps a lot in inspiring creativity and therefore allowing you to work better with Coffitivity.

This app can liven up your workspace with the mellow buzz of a coffee shop with free access to “Morning Murmur,” “Lunchtime Lounge,” and “University Undertones.” You don’t even have to register!

If you want a bit of foreign feel, you can shell out $9 to access “Paris Paradise,” “Brazil Bistro,” or “Texas Teahouse” for a year. It may not be something that will work for everyone, but it can’t hurt to try the free audio files at least. If it helps you get into the zone, go for it. It’s one of the top productivity tools in that field.

Related: 12 Simple Productivity Habits That Help Me Write a Lot Daily

4. BestEssays

Writers can get prickly when someone criticizes their work, but it is important to let someone give it a once over to make sure everything is honky-dory.

If you try to proofread or edit your work yourself, you are not likely to catch everything you should. Writers develop a blind spot when they look over their own work. You tend to scan rather than go over it line by line. You can get a friend to do it, of course, but you can’t be sure that he or she has the skills to do a good job.

Having professional writers from BestEssays look through your work is still the best option. They can proofread it for spelling errors and grammar gaffes, and edit it for flow and choice of words. They will give you comments on how to polish the work, which you can use in the future. You can save you a lot of time and effort. The proofreading service starts at $5.99 a page and professional editing starts at $15.99 a page.

5. Buzzsumo

When you’re stuck for a good topic, Buzzsumo is a good resource to give you some ideas.

This service helps you narrow your focus by giving you statistics on the popularity of variations on a general topic. It is always a good to write about something that readers like. For example, when you type in the topic “writing “ in the search bar, the app shows “Make Money From Home or While Traveling” got more than 367,000 shares on Twitter while “20 Embarrassing Phrases Even Smart People Misuse” garnered more than 126,000 shares on Facebook. It focuses only on social network sites, but it can still give you a good idea of what topics are currently trending.

Related: 6 Creative Ways to Express Yourself in Writing

Some people scoff at the idea of writer’s block, but there is no denying that it happens. It doesn’t last for very long in most cases, and writers all have their own ways of coping.

However, when deadlines are looming, these five productivity tools can help you get those creative juices flowing again. At least one of them should work for you, whatever your writing style.

Even if you don’t have writer’s block, you can still use them to get more work done. At any rate, you will not lose anything to try. Instead, you will gain a lot if these productivity tools work for you. So give them a shot.

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5 Health Hacks That Can Boost Your Creativity

5 Health Hacks That Can Boost Your Creativity

We all live such busy lives that it is totally normal to feel run down from time to time. You can’t be switched on 24/7, and if you were, you’d be burnt out pretty soon afterward!

When you’re tired and stressed, there are many things which can happen to your body and mind, but one of them will almost certainly be a waving goodbye to any creativity or concentration you were hoping to keep hold of.

Creativity is something we all need in our daily lives. But if you have a job which relies upon your ideas and thoughts when it packs up and goes on vacation for a short while, it can be super-distressing, and frustrating to say the least.

You will have no doubt heard of the old ‘writer’s block’ adage, but you don’t need to be a writer to suffer from creativity problems. The good news is that there are several things you can do to give your creativity a boost, and welcome it back into the fold. Let’s check out five of the best.

How to Boost Your Creativity

1. Reduce Stress

Stress does nothing, absolutely nothing, good for your focus, concentration, and creativity levels. If you are stressed out, you’re burnt out, and you’re not going to be able to keep your mind on anything other than the thing that’s stressing you out. Or it’s going to be flitting from one thing to another, and never doing anything productive.

Put simply, stress is dangerous on so many levels, that you need to do everything you can to reduce it as much as possible.

It’s unrealistic to say that you should kick stress out of your life for good and never feel even the tiniest amount. A little stress is good for you, it helps to motivate and push you to achieve. When stress is prolonged and severe however, it can impact every single system in your body – including your heart. It’s just not worth the hassle, so instead, look to become much less stressed than you are.

You can reduce stress:

  • by taking time for yourself,
  • enjoying social time with friends and family,
  • exercising regularly,
  • eating a healthy diet,
  • getting plenty of sleep,
  • and tackling the thing which is stressing you out, head on.

2. Incorporate Regular Exercise Into Your Routine

run fast

We just mentioned regular exercise as a way to reduce stress, but it also helps to boost your creativity too.

Exercise gets your blood pumping, your heart rate up, and it ironically also helps you to relax. You’re much more likely to get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be healthier overall, and exercise is also a known treatment method for low mood and mild depression.

If you are suffering from low mood, or if you feel like things are becoming a little too much, exercise is a great way to help boost your mood and your overall health and wellbeing. By doing this, you are giving your mind clarity, and that in turn helps to boost focus and creativity.

You will notice that when your mind is clogged up with a million worries, you just don’t have the scope to be creative. When you clear your mind, you will notice that your creativity starts to come back!

3. Try Regular Massages for Relaxation

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that having a regular massage can help to boost your overall health and wellbeing by giant leaps.

Once upon a time, massages were thought to be luxuries, things that you only indulged in when visiting up-market spas. Thankfully, all that has changed, and more and more people are noticing the extreme benefits of having regular massages.

If you can’t afford to head to a heath center or spa on a regular basis, or if you simply don’t have the time, you could instead buy a massage chair to use in your home, so you’re not missing out!

Massage can help to boost your creativity because it gives you the chance to totally relax. You hold tension in your body when you’re stressed out and over-thinking, and that adds up to not only aches and pains, which aren’t going to do much for your state of mind, but it also clogs up your mind and stops you rom thinking straight.

By allowing yourself to totally relax, you are clearing your mind and allowing you creativity to flow. You’re also getting all the other benefits of massage too, such as increased healing, increased mood, increased circulation, better sleep patterns, etc.

4. Good Quality, Regular Sleep

How do you feel when you’re tired and lacking in sleep? Do you feel like coming up with new, innovative ideas? Not likely. You’re sluggish, irritable, and snappy. Creativity disappears when you are not getting the right amount of sleep, so it’s easy to turn that back by ensuring that you do get the right amount of sleep!

The amount you should be getting depends on you as an individual, but overall, between 7-8 hours of good quality sleep per night should have you firing on all cylinders.

If you find it hard to switch off, try drinking a warm, milky drink before you sleep, having a warm bath, switching off your phone and all your social media feeds around an hour before bed, and avoiding anything which is mentally stimulating.

Massage is also something you can use to help bring a better sleep pattern into your life, so look into this option too.

5. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

What you eat has a direct impact on your creativity levels, because it impacts your mind.

If you’re clogging up your body with fatty, saturated foods, full of nasties and impurities, how can you expect your mind to be clear? It’s going to be very foggy, to say the least!

Try eating a healthy diet, organic if possible, and only eat anything which is clean and has had a life itself. This will give you a sharper mind, allow you to focus better, and have a fantastic effect on your overall health and wellbeing.

If you can incorporate this with regular exercise and relaxation, you’ll be super creative before you know it!

When you’re tired and stressed, there are many things which can happen to your body and mind, but one of them will almost certainly be a waving goodbye to any creativity or concentration you were hoping to keep hold of. If you can incorporate these tips, you’ll be super creative before you know it! #healthhacks #healthtips #creativity