5 smartphone apps to prevent procrastination

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5 smartphone apps to prevent procrastination

Smartphones aren't just about updating Facebook and Twitter - they can also be used to keep your work on track. Correcting poor time management skills can be as easy as downloading one of the many anti-procrastination apps available for your smartphone. They can help you organise tasks, remind you when deadlines are drawing near, and even restrict access to games, social media services and the Internet.

Whatever the reason, procrastination can cause a significant disruption to your day.

Self-sabotage, over-analysing a situation, and only working well when it comes to crunch time are all reasons why employees may procrastinateii. Putting tasks off until the last possible minute sometimes has negative consequences professionally as well as personallyii. Procrastination can take many forms that may seem productive at the time, but might ultimately waste precious hours throughout the day. Checking emails, reading industry blogs and chatting with colleagues or customers can easily turn into productivity zapping traps. If you need a little help kicking the procrastination habit, take a look at some of these apps.

1. Finish: prioritise your tasks to meet your deadlines

The Finish app for iPhone lets you keep track of your priorities and reminds you when deadlines are close.

Finish, available for iPhone, is a free to-do list app that allows you to organise tasks into three categories: short-term, mid-term and long-term. As deadlines for each task draw closer, the app reminds you that 'zero hour' is quickly approaching and will keep notifying you until the task is marked as complete. The app automatically re-organises tasks into the appropriate time frame and also offers a Focus Mode, which only shows the most urgent tasks to keep you from becoming overwhelmediii.

2. Trello: a list of lists for you and your team

Trello can be used to organise all areas of your life. Work, family, friends - keep it all in one place.

Ideal for collaborators and people who like visual reminders of what's coming up, Trello is an all-in-one planning and communication app that integrates with the rest of your digital life. Attach documents, images and memos from your current calendar, Google Drive, DropBox and One Drive to see everything in one place. Add as many team members as you need to get the job done and receive instant notifications every time a task is updated or a comment added. The best part of this app is that it is available for Apple and Android devices, is browser compatible and is completely free.

3. Doit.im: great for project management and getting things done

Ideal for project management, the Doit.im app lets you collaborate, organise and stay on top of projects with ease.

With free and paid versions available, this project-oriented task management app is ideal for managing jobs from start to finish. The app is available for both Apple and Android and can also be used through your Web browser. The free version offers basic list-making and sync functionality between smartphone and computer while the paid version opens up a myriad of possibilities. Doit.im Pro (per annum fee if paid annually) allows you to compile to-dos from emails, calendars and other list-making apps into one location. You can also create shared tasks and plan how long each task should take to complete. The free version of Doit.im can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play and the Pro version can be purchased either from the developer's website or in-app.

4. AppDetox: curb your urge to waste time on your smartphone

With AppDetox, you can block unproductive apps for any specified length of time.

Checking Facebook, playing a game and watching videos on YouTube on your phone are some of the easiest ways to procrastinate. If you're an app addict, AppDetox is one app that you shouldn't be without. With AppDetox, you can block unproductive apps for any specified length of time. If you try to access a blocked app during a restricted time, AppDetox will record your violation and keep you from opening the offending app. Available for Android, this free app could be the answer you are looking for.

5. Beat Procrastination: task completion through meditation

This app guides you through meditation techniques to change the way you think about your daily tasks.

Beat Procrastination doesn't remind you that you have deadlines looming or help you create a to-do list. Instead, this app guides you through meditation techniques to change the way you think about your daily tasks. The daily audio sessions will teach you to associate confidence and satisfaction with completing tasks, thus helping to change your overall mindset. This paid app is available for iPhone and Android devices.

iHeyden, T 2014, 'The much-delayed war on procrastination', BBC, 10 October, viewed 20 January 2015,

iiTriffin, M 2014, '8 common ways procrastination costs you big-time', Forbes, 8 August, viewed 20 January 2015,

iiiAnsaldo, M 2014, 'Read this now: 7 lever mobile apps to conquer procrastination', PCWorld, 7 February, viewed 20 January 2015,