Fight distractions with these apps
By Radiyah Chowdhury
Through the age of time, technology has advanced and made it increasingly easier for students to get work done. Not having to flip through actual books for hours looking for a source is great, don’t get me wrong, but at least in those times you would’ve had a very low propensity for distraction. Now, it’s almost too easy to get from Google Scholar to Facebook. Distraction is everywhere, and it seems almost inevitable.
Here are some tools to help you cut out disruptions and make the most of your time.
- FocusBooster (Web, Mac, Windows)
This web app makes the most of the Pomodoro technique while also providing a part-time tracker. For those unaware, Pomodoro is a study technique that divides your work into 25-minute increments. Focus Booster allows you to run similar focus sessions while also automatically recording it into timesheets — which lets you see how much time you spend on any given task.
- StayFocusd (Chrome)
For the timeline scrollers and homefeed creeps, this is a great extension for you. StayFocusd allows you to selectively block websites that waste your time. You can give yourself one hour on Twitter or YouTube, but after that those sites are completely blocked from access and you’re forced to focus on your work. For an Android version of this same idea, try Focus Lock.
- Forest (Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox)
If you’re one of those people who has a habit of checking your phone while working for no real reason, this app helps you keep yourself in check. It’s a simple app that rewards you for not touching your phone. The idea is that when you open the app, you plant a tree. If you want that tree to grow, you can’t touch your phone for the next 30 minutes. If you use it on your computer, you can also create a block-list for distracting websites.
This is a particularly frightening web-based app. You can’t stop typing, or all progress will be lost. It completely crushes the inner editor in you and forces you to continuously write without breaks. If you stop typing for more than five seconds, everything you’ve written so far will be erased. While this probably isn’t the greatest tool to use for an essay or something that requires you to pull from additional sources, it’s great for reflections and personal writing. You can choose your session length, and after that time is up you can save your progress.