There’s only so long one can hide under the guise of checking email while mustering up the strength to face the day. We know -- we’ve been there. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best apps and gear to kick your workday’s ass, and not the other way round. Think of us when that bonus comes in.
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1. Wake up less crusty and tired
Wake up feeling refreshed with the SleepyTi.me app. How? Once those pearly whites have been brushed (and flossed) and bedtime awaits, plug in the hour you need to wake up and Sleepy Time will calculate at what intervals of time you should sleep to wake up so your deep sleep REM cycle is not interrupted. Or, find out what time you should wake up, if you go to bed at a certain hour.
2. Set your daily goal
Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused, especially when #DescribeYourselfIn3Words is trending on Twitter. That’s what Momentum is for. This Google Chrome plugin will pop up when your browser opens, listing not only the day’s main focus, but a motivational quote, your tasks, and a personalized message -- all set against the backdrop of an inspirational photo. To top it all off, it shows up on your browser every time a new tab is opened, as a gentle way to guilt you into staying on task. Because that AMA with the carnie on Reddit will still be there after 5pm.
3. Standing desk? Walking desk.
Stay energized, for the day is long and filled with spreadsheets. Start the morning sipping on OJ, responding to emails, and oh, strolling along on a crazy walking desk. Burn calories -- not the midnight oil.
4. Worry less about snooping coworkers
Nosey cube-mate? Open-office plan? A discreet privacy filter is a must. This filter fits over your over your screen allows only a 30 degree cone of vision to be visible so those on either side of you only see a black screen. Now you can secretly file those pink slips without causing an office riot or enjoy your ‘80s movie montage playlist without being judged by your coworkers. This is your desk dammit -- take back control.
5. Free your files from their desktop prison
Whether you are bodily present at that dimly-lit hellscape you call an office or not, work doesn’t take a break. For all the times your coworkers have frantically texted you while you’re at the doctor’s office, for a document that only exists on your computer, there’s the LogMeIn app. It grants you access to your desktop through your phone so you can send not only share files but transfer or print them remotely. Good luck getting everyone to leave you alone on vacation.
6. Never lose another receipt
For every brilliant idea that’s ever been hastily scribbled on a napkin, there’s the Genius Scan app. Scan receipts, documents, recipes, maps -- whatever -- and export them as jpegs or multi-page PDFs.
7. Choose the right chair for the job
You wouldn't buy a mattress without some serious consideration, yet office workers spend at least as much time sitting at their desks as they do in bed. Investing in a quality chair that reflects your job, hours, height, and body type is about more than comfort, it's about long-term spine and neck health. While those non-HR-sanctioned back rubs you might be getting from your coworker might be relieving some tension in your back (and increasing it elsewhere), you can do better -- perhaps in every sense.
8. Don't just sit there
No matter how swank your office chair, getting up from time to time is essential to physical and mental well-being, ergo efficiency. The FitBolt app reminds you, even through the post-pizza haze of lunchtime lethargy, when it’s time to stretch out all those kinks. It also provides in-chair exercises, health tips, and even gentle reminders to check your posture for further health improvement.
9. Submit to the healing power of The Perfect Playlist
Sometimes focus is just out of reach. You can’t mute the sounds of coworkers chewing on their sad desk lunches or the stomp of heels and click of pens -- so drown them out with concentration-boosting soundscapes like these.
10. Give yourself a finish line to cross
It’s crunch time -- only a few hours until it’s time to dash and there are still many things unchecked on the to-do list. This is when Timer Tab comes in handy with its countdown, stopwatch, and alarm clock. Divide time accordingly and set timers for each small task and you’ll be ahead of schedule before you know it.
11. Take a breather
But breaks are just as important for focus and efficiency as powering through a mount of work. A mini Zen Garden for one’s desk works just as well as a brisk walk to regroup, rest those eyes from the glare of a screen for a couple of moments, and feel like a giant.
12. Streamline your commute
Time to go home. Get there in the most efficient way so you can make the most out of your night and be refreshed for the next day with the Commute app. Avoid accidents and roadwork, and see live updates so you don’t end up stuck in traffic, calling up the Radio DJ to complain. Don’t be that guy.