Focus is a rare and valuable superpower that allows you to take your work from alright to impressive. It saves you time, headspace, and energy. It lets you 10x your capacity to produce meaningful work.
But focus is also increasingly difficult to achieve in this age of notifications, alerts, banners, badges, and pings. It can seem like an uphill task to focus on building your vision if you’re busy responding to hundreds of red bubbles that demand your attention at every second.
Fear not, the humble browser extension can rescue your focus. If Chrome is your browser of choice (let’s be honest, it probably is), here’s our list of focus-boosting extensions that can magically manufacture focus.
Find your flow: 7 Google Chrome Extensions to help you hone your focus and kill distractions
- OneTab: Having too many browser tabs open not only drains your memory, but it also causes you to switch your focus among the tabs, making you less effective. Use OneTab to pull all your tabs into a list, and work through them systematically.
- XTab: XTab puts a limit on the number of tabs you have so you can focus on working on one task at a time. XTab will automatically close your oldest tab when you try and open another tab after you reached the limit.
- StayFocusd: StayFocusd limits the time you spend on specific websites. If you stay more than a certain duration of time on these sites, StayFocusd will block your access to it for the rest of the day. You can change the settings, but you’d have to complete a tough challenge to do that.
- Distraction Free YouTube (DF YouTube): This extension customizes your YouTube page and allows you to remove distracting content like related videos, video recommendations, and comments.
- Forest: Forest is a quirky extension that rewards people for focusing on their work. It combines a gamified timer and a site blocker. You simply plant a seed when you’re ready to start on a specific task, and in the next 30 minutes, the sapling will grow into a mature tree. There’s one catch: if you browse websites on your list of blacklisted sites, the tree will die. Of course, the aim is to grow not just a tree, but a forest each day.
- Mercury Reader: Some websites are filled with distractive content such as ads, auto play videos, social media share buttons, and more. Mercury Reader gets rid of all these distractions and shows you a “clean” version of the page you want to read.
- Gmelius for Gmail: Gmelius is a great extension that allows you to tweak your Gmail inbox. It blocks email tracking attempts, improves the look and feel of your inbox, and even lets you standardize the look for all incoming messages. The best part about this extension is that it lets you “snooze” emails you want to deal with later on to get them out of your inbox.