Do you find that you tend to procrastinate more with an iPhone in your hands than actually get anything done? You’re not alone.
Smartphones are capable of many, many things, but it just so happens that one of those things is instilling a strong desire to procrastinate. While some people are better at managing that desire, there are still just too many distractions on most iPhones. It’s hard to resist the urge to procrastinate and get back to work.
Thankfully, your iPhone doesn’t have to be your enemy. With the right apps by your side, it’s possible for your device to actually help you stop procrastinating. It’s not always easy, but the good news is that these apps and tips will make it significantly easier. At worse, they’re just useful to have around.
Here are some of the best procrastination apps and tips for iPhone.
As one of the most popular productivity apps in the world, it’s pretty easy to recommend Todoist.
At its core, Todoist is a to-do list. It lets you create and organize tasks so that you can easily keep track of their completion. What sets the app apart, though, is the way it simplifies a pretty versatile set of tools. Todoist makes it easy to write down tasks as they come in and even easier to check them off as you get them done.
It might not motivate you, but Todoist does make doing just about anything much simpler.
Focus Keeper is an app that utilizes the very popular – and highly effective – pomodoro method.
The pomodoro method is designed around controlled bursts of activity. It encourages you to work 25 minutes at a time before taking a short break. After so many sessions, you then get to take a longer break. The idea is that you will be able to break apart the most complex tasks into manageable chunks.
Will it work for you? It’s hard to say for sure, but this app does a great job of keeping track of tasks, time, and breaks.
Momentum Habit Tracker
While completing specific tasks is great and all, sometimes you just want to get in the habit of having better…habits.
If that sounds like you, consider downloading Momentum Habit Tracker. This app is designed to help you establish and complete a series of regular tasks. For instance, you might want to get in the habit of waking up early or going to the gym. Momentum helps you turn those desires into consistent habits.
For procrastinators, this is a vital skill. Discipline is better than motivation, and Momentum helps you establish discipline.
Write or Die
Is the thing you’re procrastinating based on writing? You may want to consider Write or Die.
Write or Die is one of the older services of its kind, but it’s still one of the best. The app’s main mode forces you to keep writing without stopping. If you do stop, then it will produce a visual trigger that inspires you to keep working. It’s kind of a tough love approach, even if it’s not really all that cruel.
This app has other modes, but it’s that “forced writing” option that really sells it.
Not every productivity app is designed with procrastination in mind. Procraster is an interesting exception.
Yes, Procraster helps you keep track of tasks. That’s easy enough. Where this app shines, though, is when it comes to overcoming hurdles. Procraster’s charts and graphs help you see where your time goes. The overall goal is to discover what mental hurdles are getting in your way. From there, you can (hopefully) better manage your time.
If you’re not entirely sure why you procrastinate, then Procraster is a pretty good way to get to the heart of the problem.
Sometimes, you really don’t need an elaborate app to help. Sometimes, you just need something that helps you keep everything together.
That’s roughly where Finish comes in. Finish is a pretty simple to-do list, but it’s designed for procrastination. What does that mean? Well, it means that Finish will annoy you if you let it. Finish’s notification system is designed to nag you until you get the job done. The settings can be toggled, but the idea is that Finish is going to force you to get things done.
Finish’s methods won’t be for everyone, but they might just work for you.
Do you have trouble sticking to your deadlines? If your the kind of procrastinator who can’t keep up with assignments, consider Timebound.
Timebound is a deadline-based to-do list. That means that you can’t actually add any tasks to your list unless there is a deadline assigned to them. Once you do add a task, the app manages your tasks based on their deadline.
It might not sound like much, but there’s something to be said for Timebound’s functionality. It basically streamlines your calendar and helps you keep pressing tasks in order. It’s great for freelancers and professionals.
[email protected] isn’t quite like most of the other apps on this list. In fact, as a music app, you could argue that it might be quite a distraction.
The difference is that [email protected]’s music is designed for productivity. The various stations, tracks, and sounds included with this app are all designed for productivity. Some are supposed to make you more productive while others are designed to simply be great for background music.
If you just need something on in the background while you’re working, then [email protected] is a great option. It’s background noise minus all the distractions.
Let’s be honest: most procrastination is based on distractions. There’s something else you’d rather be doing or something else that catches your attention. When that happens, you procrastinate.
Zero Willpower is an app that helps reduce distractions. Think of it as a kind of self-imposed tattler or parental lock. It lets you enter the websites that are most distracting to you and then prevent you from accessing them. You can even set a timer for how long you won’t be able to access those sites.
If you just can’t help yourself, then Zero Willpower might be your best bet for blocking distractions.
Simply put, Mindly is one of the best overall productivity apps out there.
Sometimes, Mindly is a workflow app. It lets you start with an idea and then branch out actions from there. Think of it as an outline for your workday. However, the great thing about Mindly is that it lets you use your procrastination for something useful. Ever have those times when you just there thinking about ideas? Mindly lets you turn those sessions into the foundation of doing something.
Mindly is one of the ultimate “blank sheet apps.” It also just might help you get something done.
Every procrastinator knows that time has a way of just bleeding away. Even if you feel like you’re getting things done, the day just has a way of slipping away. What happened?
If you want a better idea of where the time went, give Toggl a shot. While this app can help you manage your day, it really shines when it comes to generating reports. These reports help you understand exactly how much time you spend on certain things. Those things include everything from work to…well, avoiding work.
Toggl may not solve your procrastination, but it will help you better understand how much time is really in the day.
MindMeister is a lot like another app we already mentioned (Mindly). Much like that app, it lets you track your brain flow. The difference is that MindMeister is all about productive brainstorming.
Basically, MindMeister helps turn your brainstorming into the basis of something a little more useful. The app’s many tools help you turn a single thought into a series of branching paths. The app’s fun design and impressive options then help you file those paths into smaller, more achievable goals.
If you’re tired of not getting anything out of your procrastination, then MindMeister is a tremendous companion.
If you’re still in school and a bit of a procrastinator, you’re in luck. You happen to be in a great place to change your ways. Of course, you might need a little help getting there.
StudyBreak is the perfect app for the procrastinating student. It lets you turn your study sessions into manageable chunks of time. When a session is done, you get to take a break. The great thing is that this app keeps track of every minute. That means that studying too long gives you a longer break, and vice-versa.
This app offers one of the most practical studying methods you can incorporate.
You know what’s worse than procrastinating? Procrastinating when you have to work as a group. When that happens, you’re affecting others as well as yourself. It can be a bad situation.
That’s one of the reasons why Trello is becoming so popular. It’s a workflow app designed for larger groups of people. It helps everyone organize ideas, designate tasks, and complete objectives as needed. Because Trello keeps track of so much information, it makes you accountable for what you need to do.
Granted, social pressure isn’t the best way to stop procrastinating, but if you’re desperate, then Trello is a great way to go.
We’ve already called Forest one of the best apps of the year. Well, it’s especially great for anyone whose phone keeps them from completing tasks.
Forest is a productivity app disguised as a kind of game. In it, you are able to turn a virtual seed into a virtual forest. The catch is that leaving the app stops your forest from growing. In other words, you are forced to pretty much do anything else but use your phone while the app is running.
It sounds simple, and that’s because it is. The beauty comes from the satisfaction of watching your forest grow. That satisfaction often leads to you being much more willing to leave your phone behind.
Buy Noise Cancelling Headphones
You might think of a pair of headphones as an extravagant expense. Depending on your financial situation, they can be. However, the right pair of headphones can really help a procrastinator.
If your procrastination stems from co-workers and other nearby distractions, then consider a pair of noise-canceling headphones. If you’ve never used a true pair of noise-canceling headphones, then it will be hard to explain the solace they provide. You’d be amazed how much harder it is to get distracted when you’re tuning out so much.
If your budget has room for a decent pair of noise-canceling headphones, then you should absolutely own some.
Use the Sworkit Workout App For Your Breaks
Not all breaks are created equally. More often than not, breaks can exasperate procrastination problems. After all, not working as a reward can be too enticing of an incentive.
Since not taking a break is also a bad idea, then may we recommend using Sworkit for your breaks? Sworkit is an exercise app that gives you a workout based on how much time you have. So, if you’re taking a 10-minute break, it might be helpful spending five of them doing a little exercise.
Not only is that good for your health, but active breaks may just inspire you to get back to work faster.
Stop Listening to Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Songs With Lyrics…
This won’t apply to everyone, but we’re willing to bet that part of the reason you procrastinate is also that you tend to easily be distracted. If that’s the case, then you might want to be careful with what audio you listen to while you’re at work.
As odd as it may sound, anything you listen to with words may be hindering your workflow. Whether you notice it or not, you’re probably paying more attention to the words being spoken than you realize you are. This makes podcasts, audiobooks, and yes, even songs with lyrics potential procrastination hazards.
Does that mean you shouldn’t listen to anything? Well, not exactly…
…Start Listening to Classical and Video Game Music
You’ve probably heard for years that listening to classical music is an excellent thought stimulant. That’s true. If you enjoy listening to classical music, then you really can benefit from playing some during your workday.
What if you’re not into classical music, though? Well, one interesting option you have is to listen to video game music. Most video game music is designed to be played in the background. That means it works especially well as a soundtrack for your workday.
Again, everyone is affected by music differently, but instrumental tracks are a great way to drown out the silence without your work suffering.
Don’t Overbook Yourself With Productivity Apps
When you’re fighting procrastination, it can be tempting to overbook yourself. While overcompensating might sound like a good idea, the fact is that being productive shouldn’t feel like boot camp. It should actually feel pretty good.
That being the case, make sure that you’re using productivity apps wisely. Rather than overburden yourself, simply start ensuring these apps help eliminate the days in which you don’t accomplish anything. Even completing a few more tasks than usual is a step in the right direction.
At the end of the day, these apps should help make things easier and not harder on you.