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Above cafeteria food, all-nighters, and bad roommates, lies one of the biggest problems in a college student’s life: procrastination.
Battling the lack of motivation is not an easy task. It requires determination and focus, things that many students are too exhausted to dig up.
Here’s a secret that helped me during my college years: there’s nothing wrong with getting a little help.
The following tools are not simply to-do lists – they turn unfinished work into achievable goals. Each app uniquely motivates and helps users get things done.
1. Do It – Or Else
The following apps employ the use of fear as a motivator. In Write or Die, the user must continue typing or face the consequences – either a popup box shaming you for your distraction or having to watch your work “unwrite” itself. Written? Kitten! operates under the same idea, but flips it on its head with positive reinforcement: the user is rewarded when he or she meets a certain word quota. The final app urges users to produce 750 words of work at a time (the standard accepted number of words per 3 pages). Each section you complete rewards you with points.
–Write or Die (Web, iPad)
–Written? Kitten! (Web)
–750 Words (Web)
2. Pomodoro Technique
Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 80s, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool that has helped numerous people boost their productivity. This technique utilizes a timer that breaks work down into easy-to-manage 25-minute sections separated by short breaks. These sections are referred to as “pomodori,” the plural of the Italian word for “tomato.” The success of this technique is attributed to the idea that frequent breaks can improve one’s mental agility.
–Tomato Timer (Web)
–Pomodroido (Android – there are 2 versions: Free and Pro)
–Pomodoro Timer (iPhone)
3. Beat Distractions
For those of us who just can’t resist checking our Facebook notifications, and often end up watching YouTube videos about giraffes an hour later, there are these distraction fighters. These apps will help you get things done without being lured by social media or video games by blocking problem areas like Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat.
–Productivity Owl (Web)
–App Detox (Android)
4. RPG To-Do List Apps
These apps turn your work into a game – an RPG (role-playing game) to be exact. After creating a character, you create tasks lumped into different categories. Each task you complete earns you points in those categories. Over time, you level up and can view your progress.
–Habit RPG (Web)
–Task Hammer (Android)
–Epic Win (iPhone)
5. For the Hopeless Procrastinators Out There
Are you a hopeless procrastinator? Have you exhausted every other option to fight it? Do you do your best work under pressure? Then here are the apps for you! The following apps don’t guilt trip you into getting your work done; they simply allow you to put it off while still letting you know that it needs to get done –but hey… no pressure. If you can’t get a task done today, simply move it to the next day’s to-do list and voila –you can do it tomorrow.
–Do It (Tomorrow) (Available for web, iPhone, and Android)