You are working but, suddenly, there’s a ‘tin‘, an e-mail from Amazon has arrived: the product you have in your cart has been discounted. What do you do? Don’t you buy it? You rush to buy it, don’t you? And that’s exactly how you lose precious time… Because then there are a lot of other related products to buy: «At least they all arrive together». Focusing in the era of smart working is truly challenging because, in addition to domestic distractions, there are also the greedy temptations of the Internet. We have the perfect solution to help you tackle this problem. Today we are talking about apps to get rid of distractions. But what do we mean?
Social networks and other distractions are deliberately designed to be as addictive as possible, by some of the smartest people in the world. It is a fight with unequal weapons. So it’s okay to use distraction-blocking software. Once these apps are activated you will not be able to open other pages that distract you, they will not work. A message will appear reminding you of your conscientious choice, encouraging you to get back to work.
The best apps to get rid of distractions should do the following:
- Block a list of websites and/or apps (determined by you)
- Allow you to set a schedule and/or a timer
- Be annoying (at the very least) to disable
- Offer encouragement
The best apps to get rid of distractions
Freedom – Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome
Social media, shopping, videos, games… these apps and websites are scientifically engineered to keep you hooked and coming back. The cost to your productivity, ability to focus, and general well-being can be staggering. Freedom gives you control.
Freedom can block distractions—both websites and apps—on all of your devices, simultaneously. No more blocking Instagram on your computer, only to immediately open it on your phone. If you start a session, your distractions are blocked everywhere.
Serene (macOS, Windows “coming soon”)
Serene is a macOS app that promises a productivity boost by stacking three proven techniques for increasing focus. The developers found themselves in the same situation as us. After trying to use different distraction blockers, putting the phone in airplane mode, listening to concentration music and so on… they realized that it was not sustainable. All of this worked but required a lot of energy, so they came up with the idea of creating an app that did all this with one click.
Serene isn’t just a distraction blocker: it’s a productivity system built around periods of deep focus. Users choose a list of websites and apps they find distracting, then block them when it’s time to buckle down and get some work done. But there’s more. The app is built around planning your day. List how many things you want to work on and how long they will take. Then, when it’s time to work, click the Go Serene button to start a timer. All of your distractions will be blocked, optional concentration music will play, and you’ll be reminded that it’s time to focus and shown your countdown timer every time you try to open a site that you shouldn’t.
RescueTime (Windows, macOS, Android)
RescueTime isn’t, primarily, a distraction blocker—it’s one of the best time tracking apps. But it does include a distraction blocking feature called FocusTime, which allows you to block distractions using your time tracking history.
This works using data you’re already providing RescueTime, which allows you to designate apps and websites as productive, distracting, or very distracting. In FocusTime, you can choose to block distracting apps or even just anything you haven’t specifically tagged as productive.
It’s a great way to block distractions without having to build a separate block list, particularly if you’re looking for a time tracking app anyway.
Cold Turkey Blocker (Windows, macOS)
Many apps to get rid of distractions are easy to get around. Once working, Cold Turkey Blocker, makes stopping the block nearly impossible. This app blocks everything from websites to specific applications, with a few exceptions. You can also schedule breaks from your computer. As this is a system-wide tool and not just a browser extension, you can’t get around it by switching browsers.
Cold Turkey Blocker is, in a word, customizable. Install this site-blocking app, and you can create lists of websites and desktop apps to block, then set a schedule for blocking. You could, for example, block social media and video sites during every work day. You could also block work apps, like Slack, when the work day ends. It’s all up to you. Or, if you prefer, you can turn blocking on and off manually. There’s even a mode called Frozen Turkey, which prevents you from accessing your computer entirely: turn it on, and you’ll see a blank screen until your scheduled outage is over.
Are you ready to stop procrastinating and have a lot more free time at your disposal?