Cell phones can be used to increase productivity

The academic year has come rushing to an end, and students of all grade levels are struggling to turn in their final assignments. Procrastination is a beast that can be hard to fight off, and grows nastier and nastier as it becomes coupled with distraction. Parents and teachers love to blame the cell phones ever-present in teenage lives. They’re right… kind of.

Planning trips to the beach, indulging in fun new conversations with cute summer flings, and online shopping are just three of the thousands of things one can do with a cell phone. The capability of a cell phone, especially “smart” phones equipped with advanced applications and internet technology, to distract its owner from their responsibilities and from the world around them seems to be endless– but new studies have shown that, if used correctly, cell phones can actually increase daily productivity.

Application companies are working to end the negative connotation of working with a phone in-hand by creating new, user-friendly and interesting platforms to complete basic tasks. These apps are powerful tools to help one get stuff done and stop the dreaded cycle of procrastination.

"30/30" by Binary Hammer is one of many apps companies are producing to increase cellular productivity.

“30/30” by Binary Hammer is one of many apps companies are producing to increase cellular productivity.

Busy schedules can make people feel overwhelmed, but many people waste time without even realizing it. The app “30/30” by company Binary Hammer makes users accountable for their time by allocating blocks of time for individual tasks and providing short breaks to keep one motivated. Senior Lauren Lushene praised the app, saying that its flexible structure let her customize the app to her individual preferences and make it work for her needs– she was able to easily denote her busy work schedule and academic schedule all into one platform.

Similarly, “Procraster” by Simen Solbakken helps in tackling big projects by breaking them up into manageable chunks of time and categorizing them by the reason you’re putting them off, including “I don’t know where to start” and “my task is too big.” It also collects statistics on user progress and keeps a record of tasks that have been finished, giving the big picture on daily, weekly, and even monthly productivity.

To-do lists have been a staple of organizational tools for a while now. However, today’s electronic versions allow for a greater range of options with the same gratification that comes from checking an item off your list. The app “Todoist” by Doist organizes your assignments by date and plans for upcoming tests and projects seamlessly and beautifully. Freshman Ava Ryan downloaded the app as a way to keep her mom from taking her phone away– she wanted to prove its usefulness. She now thanks the app for showing her that her phone could actually help her with the transition to the more rigorous academic expectations of high school.

A screenshot of the app "Finish" by Basil Ltd. in action. Courtesy of the Apple Application store.

A screenshot of the app “Finish” by Basil Ltd. in action. Courtesy of the Apple Application store.

The app “Finish” by Basil Ltd. divides tasks into short-term, mid-term, and long-term time frames, thereby making potentially stressful tasks doable and uncomplicated.

Procrastination is the downfall of hundreds of students. Many turn to their cell phones as a distraction from their work, and with these new applications ever-present and sending them loudly constant reminders, phones can create a positive pressure to fight the procrastination beast.