Working at home means you're surrounded by all of your stuff: from that pile of dirty dishes in your sink to that pile of laundry that's still unfolded. And maybe you have a pressing deadline along with a pressing need to sort that pile of books (you sure do have a lot of piles!). Good news: you can do both with the help of a few time management and chore management apps that can double as productivity boosters when you need to get a handle on your day.
Price: Free, $4.49 in-app purchase
Masters of productivity will throw some laundry through a spin cycle or two while washing dishes or chatting online with colleagues. Timer+ makes tracking one (or multiple) activities easy, and lets you save your timers for later.
You can set multiple timers to keep track of that laundry at the cleaners along with your lunch in the oven, and set repeat options in case whatever you're timing needs another go-round.
Platform: iOS, Android
Price: Free, $22.99 per month
To avoid doing all the chores when you're the one working from home, try delegating a few to your partner or roommate. I've tried using shared calendars to manage chores like rubbish or laundry day, only to find my schedule unmanageable.
With home management app Picniic, you can share household information like chores and shopping lists with your household and assign each one to a different person. You can set the chores to recur, schedule reminders, and keep it all from cluttering your actual calendar.
It's free to use, but a premium subscription lets you manage more items in your house like recipes and a family locator service (although Find My Friends would also solve that issue).
If the thought of working long hours with no breaks stops you in your tracks, use Clockit to force yourself to get up from your desk every so often.
The app uses the Pomodoro technique, along with a dead simple interface, to help you keep track of all your tasks and take breaks when you need to. Clockit saves that data so you can monitor your performance over the course of an entire week. Find out how long you actually spent writing compared to how long you were actually on your five-minute break.
Platform: iOS, Android
If you need more of an incentive to focus on getting your tasks done at home, consider growing a plant — a plant that will die if you decide to use your phone. Forest is a timer that helps keep you on track by growing a tree within your specified time limit, either solo or with other players you invite to your session.
It's more entertaining than a simple countdown timer, and has a lot more at stake (I mean, it's a virtual tree, but you get the idea). You can play and purchase sounds like rainfall and other sounds to add to the calming sensation of focusing on the task at hand.
Platform: iOS, macOS
Price: $14.99 (iPhone) / $79.99 (macOS) / $30.99 (iPad)
Separating your to-do list might be the key to getting you to stick to those tedious chores. Things is available on your iOS and macOS devices and lets you focus on the tasks at hand by highlighting what you've got to actually get done today (like rubbish pickup) rather than tomorrow (like the slightly stained grout you've got no business scrubbing at 2pm on a Friday) when you've got some free time.
You can separate tasks into projects, keep track of calendar events, add items using the Reminders app, and sync your tasks with Things Cloud to never lose your list.