Do you find yourself easily distracted?
Struggling to stay focused?
Always itching to check your phone?
With so much information and entertainment just a few clicks away, it can be hard to stay focused and actually get stuff done.
Whether it be work, study or finishing a simple task, studies have shown that every time you get distracted, not only does it take some time for you to refocus, it also drains your brain power.
So to help you stop wasting time and that precious brain juice, we've compiled a list of the best FREE phone apps, website blockers and browser extensions to help you stay focused and be more productive!
Lockdown your phone
Phone addiction is real. On average, we spend over 3 hours a day on our phones, and check it every 25 minutes. That's a lot of distractions.
There are ways to help you block specific apps or the entire phone itself.
Below are our top 3 ways:
1. Disable notifications
First things first, the most basic thing you can do to get rid of distractions is disable notifications on your phone.
Before you protest, “What if I miss an important phone call?!”
Well there’s a setting for that.
You can turn on Do Not Disturb mode. (This is available on both Android and Apple). This setting allows you to only let certain calls and messages through. You can even select to only let notifications from specific people through.
2. Limit your app use
Once you’ve done that, head to Digital Wellbeing on Android or Screen Time on Apple. You can set these up to block you from using certain apps on your phone. You can find these under Settings on your phone.
3. Lock down your entire phone
When you need something more hardcore, try the Lock Me Out app on Android. (We're yet to find a similar free app for Apple users, hit us up if you know one.)
Unlike the other ways, where you can simply change the settings to access your phone again, with this app even if you reset your phone, you ain’t getting in until the timer’s up. No cheating you!
One minute you’re doing work and the next minute you’re on Facebook, doing some online shopping or browsing some other random sh*t.
If this happens to you, then try some website blockers.
Forest is a phone app as well as a browser extension. It inspires you to stay focused by planting virtual trees. During a set time, your virtual tree will grow. If you exit the app or try to access a website from your blocked list, your virtual tree will die, tsk tsk. You can even plant real trees when you save up enough coins by being a good productive human!
2. Strict Workflow
Strict Workflow is a Chrome Extension inspired by the Pomodoro technique. This time management method is based on 25 minute stretches of focused work, broken by five-minute breaks. The good thing about Strict Workflow is that it is stricter than Forest (hence the name). Unlike Forest where you can just click “Give Up” to access blocked websites (and kill your tree, noooo). Once you hit the timer to start work, you cannot access any of your blocked websites until the timer's up.
3. Cold Turkey
Cold Turkey is a more advanced website and app blocker that works across Windows and macOS. There’s a paid version, but I found the free version pretty good on its own. It does require a little more setup work than Forest and Strict Workflow, but it has more features, including a nuclear option. Which means even if you restart your computer, you cannot access your blocked websites until the timer runs out!
When it comes down to it, staying focused requires some good old self-control and discipline. But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some help. Try some of these 6 kickass blockers for your phone and computer, and you’ll be a productivity boss in no time.
Do you know another phone or website blocker? Let us know in the comments below!