There are points in life when you are working your butt off, yet still feel like you are being totally unproductive and as if you are wasting your energy. This can happen more often than one might think and it should be the moment for deep introspection. Maybe it’s because of overall job dissatisfaction, maybe it’s due to stress or personal issues, or maybe it’s just lack of time management skills. No matter what the reason is, the worst thing one could do is to do nothing and keep living with that type of discomfort.

Around 100 years ago, Frederick Taylor stressed the importance of efficiency and based on it developed a whole new science, today known as management. Since then, organizations have evolved a lot, but productivity as a KPI still provides us with important information for organizing both businesses and ourselves. That’s why 100 years later, productivity should be still taken very seriously – it should be followed, measured and appropriately managed.

Here are 4 fundamentals to keep in mind for regaining focus and maximizing productivity:

1. Environment

Work environment should be a place designed solely for productive activities, and it should resemble work. Even freelancers or entrepreneurs should try not to work from home. There are tons of places such as public libraries, coffee shops, business hubs or even benches in park, that can all be used for working. Getting up in the morning, knowing there is a place to go to, will give your day a structure and help with keeping  focus and minimizing procrastination. If going out is not an option, one special part of apartment should be devoted only to work. Being in work environment reminds us to stay focused and subconsciously reduces unproductive activities. Nowadays, It is much easier for companies to manage their remote workers since there are remote employee monitoring software such as WorkPuls.

2. Distractions

We’ve all been there – we have so much work to do that instead we decide to arrange our pens in visible spectrum order. This is terrible for productivity. To prevent it from happening, all possible sources of distraction should be removed. Desk should be kept clean, cellphone muted and put away. Closing all the inactive browser tabs and instant messengers, along with playing ambient music, does wonders for concentration. Taking breaks is extremely important, so they should be planned and taken regularly. If something unproductive crosses your mind, write it down so that you can deal with it later.

3. Organization

Working in a team, thanks to synergy, is always a great way for motivation and productivity boost. Even if job type does not require a team, discussing the case with colleagues and asking them for an opinion can do wonders for productivity. As much as possible should be delegated, because there is no person that can do everything on their own. When it comes to organizing yourself – prioritize your own goals, develop a schedule and stick to it. Planning every activity and keeping them in mind, as well as implementing reward system, will help you push forward when you start getting tired.

4. State of mind

Positive state of mind is obligatory when it comes to detecting the source of recent drop in productivity. It’s also important to stay positive because there is no is pessimistic or unsatisfied person who is successful at work. The core of the positive state of mind lies in keeping good care of physical and mental health. When it comes to physical health – working out is a great way to reduce stress, and on the plus side, you will look better. Speaking of mental health – some time should be taken daily to focus on your inner self and show gratitude. Read, stay educated and informed and surround yourself with positive and happy people. Despite the fact that this doesn’t help our productivity in an obvious, measurable way, it certainly affects it indirectly.

People often sit at their desks, but they lie to themselves about how productive they actually are. Being unproductive kills motivation and vice versa, so becoming and remaining the most focused version of yourself is a goal you should set no matter what your position in organization is.

Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

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