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Back to Work – 6 Apps to Get You Through January (and Beyond)

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Like it or not, the holiday season is over and it’s time to get back to work.

Maybe you’ve been lucky with a nice long break, or maybe you’ve been in the lead-up to Christmas – either way, it’s a long January ahead and I’ll take all the help I can get to get through it with something on the verge of grace.

Luckily, we live in a mobile world, and whether you’re an Apple lover or an Android junkie, I’ve got a few tricks to make the transition into 2023 a little easier.

Signaling

This might seem like an obvious decision, but I’ll say it anyway – set an alarm!

I don’t just mean setting a custom alarm for 6 a.m., knowing full well that you’ll hit snooze and ignore it (and then most likely scramble in a panic to be ready on time). No, I mean set a pair, turn off the snooze setting so there’s no temptation, and strength himself out of bed.

However, alarms can also be useful throughout the day. Most of us know this it’s good for us to take a break from the laptop screen every now and then, but how many of us do? Not me, for example. Except for my failed attempt at squatting while the kettle was boiling on my first day on the job, which was enough to scare me off for life. But the thing is, if you tend to forget this little health tip, you can set a reminder on your cell phone to, well, remind you.

While you’re at it, why not play around too? When you get back to your desk, your eyes and brain will get a little rest and you’ll quickly refocus.

Apple and Android devices come with Clock apps preinstalled.

Forest

Ah, the Forest program. This makes sense if you tend to over-invest in virtual creations, but can be effective if you don’t either.

How does it work? Well, Forest has been designed to keep you from procrastinating when you should be working or studying. If you can’t help but scroll when you shouldn’t, or you just don’t have the self-control to put your phone down and get to work, then Forest might be the app for you.

Essentially a focus timer, Forest provides motivation by helping a small tree grow. Yes, you read that right.

When you need to stop and get on with your latest project, you can plant a virtual seed and set a timer for yourself (you can choose the right length of timer for your needs), and if you stay phone-free until the timer runs out, your little seedling will sprout , will grow and the result will be a wonderful tree. But if you can’t resist the temptation, not only will you lose the opportunity to add a tree to your garden, but the tree will die. And believe me, you will feel guilty.

A nice bonus with Forest is the sense of real achievement you can get with each tree. Every time you successfully plant and grow a tree in the app, you can earn coins that will accumulate over time and you can use them to plant are real tree in Africa, as part of the application’s partnership with Trees for the Future.

Forest for Android

A forest for an apple

Nuisli

If you’re less concerned about procrastination and more concerned about concentration, then Noisli can help.

You may have heard of benefits of white noise, but like many, you might have thought it was a tool to help babies sleep. The truth is, quite a bit of research has looked into this topic, and ambient sounds in general can be helpful in helping you focus and be productive—just what we need when we’re still going through the holidays and trying to get back into the swing of things. “working mode”. Disclaimer: This may not happen until March.

Noisli helps you optimize your work environment. So if you’re working at home or in an office where you can use headphones, this is a great way to create an audio environment that helps you focus. The app includes a library of 28 high-quality sounds that you can play individually or create a playlist. There are also a number of preloaded playlists that have been designed to help you be more productive.

Noisli for Android

Noisli for Apple

Calm

The first step to working better (and getting back to normal) is getting a good night’s sleep.

Once the holidays roll around, most of us sleep in, stay up a little later, and often take a nap in the middle of the day while the TV isn’t showing anyone. And this dream is probably not very good either.

unfortunately the holiday season wreaks havoc on our sleeping habits like nothing else can, so getting back on track as quickly and efficiently as possible should be a priority.

You may have already heard of Calm (it is, after all, the number one app for sleep, relaxation, and meditation), and if so, you’re on the right track. Calm uses a combination of guided meditations, breath work, soundscapes and even good old bedtime stories to help you fall asleep more easily and relax before bed. Some of the stories are even read by celebrities in sweet, soothing voices – I’m a little bit of Matthew McConaughey myself.

In turn, you not only improve the quality of your sleep, but actually help reduce stress and anxiety. And it’s perfect now that you have to deal with all those emails that didn’t seem important in December.

Peace for Android

Rest in peace Apple

Headroom

Similar to and yet different from Calm, Headspace is an app that’s also designed to help you reduce stress and sleep well, but it has a different focus – happiness.

The app aims to help you turn mindfulness into a habit, and by de-stressing, practicing meditative techniques, and dealing with stress after returning to work, you can use the app to keep a clear head and (hopefully) feel a little happier despite to the dreary January weather.

In addition to guided meditations, Headspace offers mindfulness exercises to eliminate worry, general anxiety, stress and to increase mental resilience. The app has hundreds of exercises guided by the world’s leading experts to help you fill your cup with something as simple as a 5-minute meditation.

The exercises are easy to do (even if you scoff at the idea of ​​meditating on your way to a better day at work) and can help train your mind to be present in the moment. This way, you can learn to curb distractions and stay focused on your day-to-day work.

Even better, many users report additional benefits such as better sleep, less irritability, improved communication, and even greater compassion.

Headspace for Android

Headspace for Apple

Todoist

So everything is ready for performance. You better concentrate. You sleep well. But what about organization?

Todoist is the best app to help you plan your days and have a better work-life balance. Easy to use and damn powerful at the same time, it’s basically a nice, neat task planner and to-do list (which you might have guessed from the name).

You can use its tools to quickly add tasks (both typed and spoken out loud), and you can organize everything on your to-do list into “project” categories for work, personal life, fitness, and more. If you want, you can even delegate tasks to other people, like “Do the dishes” – and it’s so easy, you can’t argue with it.

Todoist for Android

Todoist for Apple

Habit-Bull/Habit Tracker

I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of making a New Year’s resolution or two – no one wants to hear that rant – but the truth is that most of us fail because we don’t have an unlimited supply of motivation, anyway.

However, there are a few things you can do to start the habit, and Habit-Bull (known as Habit Tracker on Android) is a smart way to just keep it going.

It’s a bit like continuing my streak on Wordle (I lost mine on New Year’s Eve), but for something a little more productive, like drinking water, cooking a healthy meal from scratch, going for a walk, or even removing makeup. up the brush.

Habit-Bull helps you with the one thing most of us struggle with: consistency. It was created specifically to help you develop positive habits and is based on real behavioral science to help you visualize your habits and achievements. This, in turn, helps you to keep doing good things – just as keeping a small animated tree can be motivating.

Some helpful features include graphs so you can chart your success, built-in reminders, some great motivational quotes, and a community you can interact with to help keep you accountable.

Habit tracker for Android

Habit-Bull on Apple

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