Freedom is an all-in-one distraction blocker. It prevents you from opening extraneous apps and accessing websites that you find distracting, no matter if you're using a computer, iPad, or iPhone. You can even crack down hard on yourself by blocking the entire internet, basically turning your computer into something straight out of , but with more RAM and fewer free hours from AOL.
When you want to focus, you create a Freedom session and then choose what you want to block. You can also create recurring sessions if, for example, you want to avoid Twitter and Facebook between 8 a. Freedom also has a Locked Mode for when your distractibility is outrageously high. This mode prevents you from changing the settings in the middle of a session. Freedom is one of the best focus apps because it offers plenty of customization for helping you focus on both desktop and mobile devices.
Freedom pricing: Free trial for seven sessions. This extension for Firefox and Chrome lets you specify which sites to block, when, and for how long. One of LeechBlock's better features is its timer. You can give yourself a set amount of time, say 15 minutes to read The Washington Post online each day or browse Google News, but you'll be locked out for the day after those 15 minutes are up.
To keep yourself motivated, you can set up a redirect page for when you try to access a blocked site. Imagine trying to access Facebook and suddenly finding yourself redirected to the Nickleback homepage. LeechBlock also has a password option or you can opt for a random access code , intended to slow you down in moments of weakness. It's a similar tactic to freezing credit cards in blocks of ice so you have to wait for them to thaw while mulling over whether you really want to make a purchase. It gives your sanity time to catch up with your impulses.
Of course, if you really wanted to stay focused, you could give the password to someone else. This free and open-source extension for Chrome gently flags your attention when you try to access sites that you know are time-wasters and instead reminds you of how you'd rather spend your time. When you install and set up Mindful Browsing, you first list a few websites that you'd like to avoid and then write a few short words about what you should be doing instead. The next time you try to visit one of the sites on your list, Mindful Browsing splashes an enormous photo of something tranquil, like a landscape, and reminds you of the little goals you set for yourself when you were in your right mind and not eager for a distraction.
You can bypass the blocker for a minute quickie with the guilty pleasure of your choice I'm really not suggesting it's a porn site, but maybe it is, and no judgement there, friend. Or you can stick to your guns and get back to focusing on something more important. RescueTime is a multipurpose productivity app and distraction blocker, cutting off your access to distracting websites when needed, while also recording how much time you spend working in different apps and sites.
Once you install and configure RescueTime, it runs and invisibly in the background, monitoring every website you visit and software product you use, and for how long. Bear in mind that you must grant it permission to watch your every move. Otherwise, it's useless. Over time, RescueTime tallies up how you spend your time on your computing devices.
It creates detailed reports showing time spent in work-related apps versus time spent on social networking sites, online shopping, and so forth. It also generates detailed reports about what types of apps and sites you tend to use during different times of day. For example, if you surf Twitter and Facebook every day in the late afternoon, RescueTime will spotlight that trend.
If you typically work hard in business apps in the morning, you'll see that pattern, too. Because everyone defines "work" differently, you get to create the rules for what RescueTime classifies as productive versus unproductive app or website. You can also classify apps and websites by category, such as business, social media, news, shopping, and so forth, and your classifications here will also depend on the type of work you do.
For its emphasis on productivity tracking in addition to blocking distractions online, RescueTime is among the best apps for boosting your ability to focus. Self-Control is a simple, free, and open-source Mac app that helps you focus by letting you blacklist websites or anything else on the internet such as mail servers as you see fit. Then, you set a timer for yourself and dedicate the next however many minutes to a distraction-free focus session.
Alternatively, you can create a set of whitelisted sites and use the Self-Control mode to let you access only the sites you listed, nothing else. Self-Control is hardcore. Once you start a session, you cannot stop. Well, you can, but you have to reboot your computer, which is a pain. But that's the point. Self-Control makes it difficult and painful to access the sites you've decided to have self-control over visiting. This app wins hearts for being completely free and open-source, although it's only for macOS.
StayFocusd is a free Chrome extension that lets you choose how you want to block distractions. For example, you can give yourself permission to spend a set amount of time each day on distracting websites, say, 30 minutes total on Twitter and Buzzfeed.
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Once you reach your limit, StayFocusd kicks you off and doesn't let you extend your time. Another option is to create time restrictions for certain sites during days and hours you set, such as Monday through Friday, 9 a. StayFocusd's most severe option, however, is called the Nuclear Option. With the Nuclear Option, you choose to block one of the following: Once enabled, this option cannot be undone or deactivated.
Of course, the easiest way to circumvent Stayfocusd or any browser-based tool for blocking distractions is to open a different browser, such as Firefox, Opera, Explorer, or Safari.
Regardless, Stayfocusd offers an excellent array of features and options, helping you stay focused the way that works best for you. Set yourself up for success with these apps for helping you focus. You may find that with a little effort and practice, focusing on the task at hand for stretches of time becomes easier.
There are other tricks to strengthening your willpower that can't hurt either. And with focus comes success.
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