Approximately two thirds of working Americans find themselves on a computer during the day. Many of which spend their entire shift glued to a screen, only a mouse click away from accessing the endless distractions that can be found on the internet. With so much information coming at us daily, our focus is quickly becoming diminished in exchange for the stimuli of the latest YouTube sensation.
For some it can become a serious problem, leading to low productivity, bad performance reviews, and the additional stress of bringing work home. Luckily we’ve compiled a list of six applications proven to break bad habits and help you get your work done on time!
1. Freedom– Block the internet for a certain amount of time
Have you ever played the psychological game with yourself that only after X amount of work, you’ll reward yourself with X amount of entertainment? Easier said than done. Freedom has one simple use, and that’s to block your internet completely for a specified amount of time. You’d be surprised just how quickly a glance at Facebook, or reading that ‘crucial’ article can take hours out of your day.
If turning off the internet completely is not an option, take a look at Anti-Social. It’s built for those who still need the internet, but would like to block certain sites while the web browser is open.
Freedom cost: $10
2. StayFocusd– Limit the amount of time you spend on distracting websites
With opposite functionality to ‘Anti-Social’, Stayfocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that works by restricting the amount of time you can spend on certain sites, rather than blocking them entirely. Once you’re allotted time is spent, those websites will become blocked for the remainder of the day.
Many prefer this calculated approach as they still desire intermittent breaks in working, but do not like to go beyond a certain point. Want to give yourself 45 minutes to space out? This app is right for you.
StayFocusd cost: Free
3. TrackTime– Understand how your time gets spent while online
While we acknowledge we spend a lot of time on the computer, most of us have no idea how that’s broken down into individual application use. How much time did you waste on Twitter today? How often were you actually using your Word Processing application?
TrackTime allows you to monitor your activities daily by providing you with statistics and colorful timelines of where you spend your time, and how often you’re switching between applications
Tracktime cost: Free (only available on Mac)
4. RescueTime– A more in-depth look at where your time goes and how to take action
RescueTime will give you one of the most accurate picture’s on the market as to where your activity is performed on your computer. With detailed activity reports, weekly email summary, and daily goals built right into the interface you’re guaranteed results in becoming more efficient.
With premiere, you also get the benefits of:
- Customized Site Blocking
- Track Offline Activity
- Notifications- Notify yourself when spending too much time on something, or for being super productive.
RescueTime cost: $9/month or $72/year
5. Concentrate– Work and study more productively between tasks
Many of us are responsible for more than one type of task throughout the day; for instance, there’s times when I’m writing, budgeting, updating my web-page, or producing new content on Social Media. Needless to say these tasks can become intertwined unintentionally and break our focus.
Concentrate allows you to create custom activities that run a corresponding set of actions to only allow applications and websites to run that support productivity within that activity. In English, that means if I’m writing I can only access my word processor, and websites I haven’t placed on a block list while I’m working. You can set up multiple forms of activity to segment your work day and focus on each item individually.
Concentrate cost: $29
6. FocusWriter– Creating an optimal environment for your thoughts
Writing can require the greatest self-discipline of any profession, especially in the last decade as life and internet have become so intertwined. FocusWriter commandeers your desktop to provide a distraction-free writing environment so you can focus on what really matters, the words.
Some additional features, include:
- Daily writing goals (word count or writing time)
- Typewriter sounds
- Standard text-editing features
FocurWriter cost: Free, but with a suggested “tip”
Do you have any other apps or tips that you use to stay focused? Let us know in the comments section!
Image Source: http://betanews.com/2014/02/26/are-you-reading-this-when-you-should-be-working/internet-distraction/
Jeremy Jensen is a Professional Photographer and Freelance Writer based in Lake Tahoe, CA. His work is centered around photojournalism, nature and music, but also loves any opportunity to work with people. To view his portfolio or to follow him on Social Media visit JeremyJensenMedia.com