3 Concentration Apps To Get Your Focus Back
Finish that big project without being pulled into the endless distractions of the Internet
By the Dave Partners Team
Tech people are natural multi-taskers. We work in offices where everything moves at the speed of light, there are always several dozen things to be done, and workers who wait until one project is complete to begin another will soon find themselves behind the rest of the pack.
That said, indiscriminate multi-tasking can leave you scattered, unproductive and burnt-out. Some projects really do benefit from exclusive focus and total concentration. If you’re feeling a bit all-over-the-place, here are our favorite apps for shutting the world out and keeping your mind on the task at hand.
If you’re like us, it’s hard to resist the ever-present lure of the social networks. As much as you try to keep your mind on your work, there’s always just one more witty one-liner that needs to be Tweeted or one more baby picture to “like” on Facebook.
Thus, Anti-Social: The app that does what you can’t, and forcibly logs you out of all social networks for a set period of time. You can decide which networks to block, and can set your window of concentration for minutes or hours. Those who’ve used it say they can’t imagine life without it. Those who haven’t will get back to you in a few minutes, sorry, they just thought of something HILARIOUS to put on Instagram.
Every task seems overwhelming when you don’t know how long it will take — and, when you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to just start scanning your newsfeed rather than working.
Focus Booster is task-management software that feels your pain. It works off the Pomodoro method, breaking each of your tasks up into very manageable 25-minute time windows, and giving you a 5-minute break at the end of each 25-minute stretch of work. For those who need structure and boundaries in order to do their best work, it’s a life-saver, training your internal clock to keep you on target.
Of course, blocking out your social networks is only part of the problem. It doesn’t do much to keep you productive if you can just boot up a computer game or seven, and focus on slaying dragons rather than completing projects.
Therefore, Concentration takes the web-blocking capacities of apps like Anti-Social one step further: It actually blocks off the other apps on your computer, so that you can (for example) block off your own access to everything but Microsoft Word, and power through a challenging writing project without access to any other distractions. Granted, this is the most drastic option for forcing concentration — but if you’re feeling terminally scattered and facing down a tight deadline, maybe a drastic change is exactly what you need.