Having trouble staying focused? This handy tool will block distractions and help keep you working.
Whether you’re working from home, writing an essay, or working on a project, focusing can be a struggle. With the social media-laden internet at your disposal, it’s all too easy to get distracted.
Sometimes, you need a little help. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best apps to help you stay focused while working from home.
Freedom is a great focus app because it can run on almost any device, and focusing sessions are shared across all devices at the same time. The app is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even as a Google Chrome extension.
To get started, Freedom lets you create a list of apps and websites that you find intrusive. Then, you choose how long you need to focus, and the program completely blocks those distractions on all your devices for a certain amount of time.
The versatility and wide availability of devices have made the Freedom a viable option, but there are a few extra features that sweeten the deal significantly.
Freedom’s Locked Mode prevents you from leaving a focus session until the time is up, so if you really can’t trust yourself to stick to one session, there’s an extra layer of protection. There are also plenty of Focus Voices built into the desktop version of the app, giving you a choice of a variety of voices to help keep your attention on your work.
Although Freedom is a premium service, it offers a free trial. When you sign up, you can get seven sessions for free to see if the service is right for you. Even if you want to sign up, it only costs $29 for a full year.
RescueTime is another great tool to help you stay productive while working at home. Unlike other focus apps, RescueTime isn’t just about stopping you from being distracted, it’s more about helping you manage your time effectively.
When you install RescueTime, it will start tracking what websites you visit, and will then categorize them under various labels. Once you know how much time you spend looking at different types of sites, apps will help you spend your time more efficiently.
RescueTime also features plenty of focusing options that prevent you from being distracted from important work. One feature, Focus Time, lets you set a predefined amount of time that you want to focus on. You can choose from normal, medium, and strict interference blocking levels.
The software even lets you customize the appearance of blocked pages, choosing from pets, quotes, or classic RescueTime themes.
Easily RescueTime’s best feature is advanced crashes. This allows you to see exactly which sites you visited throughout the day, and for how long. Better yet, RescueTime will also analyze your free time spent online to make sure you’re also getting enough downtime.
Similar to Freedom, RescueTime is a premium subscription service, however, it offers a free version with reduced features. The premium version is available for $12/month or $78/year.
If you want a focusing app option that incentivizes you to continue using it, Forest might be the choice for you. Forest is a browser extension that prevents you from deviating from your intended task, and uses a gamified approach.
When you set the time and start Focus Mode, Forest blocks you from accessing the pre-selected list of distracting websites or apps. Each time the timer runs, a virtual tree is planted and grows as long as you set focus.
If at any time you cancel Focus Time, your tree will wither and die. As you continue to use the software, you plant trees all over the forest. And as the forest grows, you earn coins, and these coins can be used to plant real trees by the app’s charity partner, Trees for the Future.
Trees for the Future helps improve the lives of people in areas of greatest need around the world. While you focus on your work, you are also helping to improve sustainable agriculture globally for thousands of people.
Forest is a great choice because of how simple it is. Enter your website block list, press Start, and you are immediately forced to focus on your work for a period of time.
This app works on both iOS and Android, and since it’s a browser extension, it will work on Mac, Linux, and Windows with Google Chrome installed. This is another app with a premium version, but it allows you to use the limited version of the app for free with ads. The premium version is a one-time payment of only $2, so it’s also a low-risk investment.
If you splurge on the premium version, you’ll get access to additional features, such as Focus Sounds and more tree species. Perhaps the most useful premium feature is the ability to sync your forest across all your devices, making your progress easy to track, and keeping you focused longer.
Stay Distraction Free With This Tool
With all these options, you should be able to find an app that helps you stay away from distractions. Whether you want a full-featured app, a strict blocker, or a simple tool that helps charities, there’s always something for everyone.