At a Glance: Utilize your phone correctly and it can become your greatest time saver instead of your biggest distraction.

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Time is currency—and the busier you are, the more it’s worth.

It’s also something you can never get back. Time is the only thing you can't recover. Energy, sleep and other resources can be caught up on, but you never get wasted time back.

For the easily distracted, just the thought of marking every minute sounds like it could be stressful. The first step to actually understand how efficiently you’re working is to track the time you currently spend. That way you can have a starting point from which to make choices about priorities and changes about time spent.

Here are three effective time-tracking apps to check out:

  • RescueTime

    Runs in the background on your computer and mobile devices, and tells you the hard truth about time you’re spending on various apps and websites. It can even spit out a report so you can see the breakout of your daily device habits, so you can get serious about focusing. Upgrade to the paid version and you can block the largest distractions.
  • Timely

    Allows you to plan the work and work the plan. Schedule activities on a calendar and track the time spent on each one, simultaneously. Plus, it can log hours from your existing calendar, so anything you add gets auto-imported as an estimated entry. Users applaud its simple interface, easy navigation and reliability.
  • ATracker

    Widely praised for its clean design and minimal setup, helps you start and stop tasks with a tap of your finger. You can see how you spend your time as a list or on a calendar, and create bar or pie charts to review productivity.

Of course, there’s the simple smartphone, too. Set the timer on your phone and stay focused on the task at hand until that alarm rings. You’ll be amazed at how hyper-productive short bursts of uninterrupted and focused time.