5 Ultimate Productivity Apps To Keep You Focused

Student Life

It's easy to get distracted by the portable cell phone that always seems to be right on your desk when you want to read and right on your bed when you want to sleep. It seems to provide that instant gratification by capturing your attention with the those oh-so-hilarious memes you just have to send to your friend and those youtube videos that eventually will lead to immense confusion at 3 am about how four hours just went by. Far too often we think that our phones come in the way of our productivity. But your phone is not a distraction. It can be a powerful tool if used properly. For that to happen, you must equip your phone with apps that help you get the most out of your phone time.

Let's talk about focus. It's a word that gets thrown about but understanding what it truly means is fundamental. [Merriam Webster, 2020] Focus (verb)- to concentrate attention or effort.

To concentrate effort. It sounds so very elementary and yet we find ourselves taking buzzfeed tests about what type of burger you should eat based on your Aunt’s favourite nail polish shade when we should be doing homework.

Concentrating effort is hard. It is difficult. Distractions are everywhere. A single notification is all it can take to interrupt your focus. A team of psychological scientists from George Mason University has found that interruptions don’t just take up time, they also degrade the overall quality of people’s work. (So if you find yourself thinking, ‘watching one quick cat video wouldn’t be too bad’ when you’re in the middle of reading history, forget it.)

The analysis shed light on how interruptions affect us by conducting an experiment involving writing a standard college essay while having to contend with interruptions. The participants typically wrote down fewer total words when they were interrupted while in the act of writing – not just planning – their essays.

So yes, concentrating effort is hard. It is difficult. But it is not impossible. With the help of apps that prove to be powerful productivity tools you can improve your focus.

1. Forest

Forest is a popular productivity app that helps people beat their phone addiction and manage their time in an interesting and pleasant way. Users can earn credits by not using their cell phones and plant real trees around the world with the credits.

2. Freedom

The Freedom website blocker gives you control over distracting websites, so you can focus on what matters most. The Freedom Chrome extension provides a "green screen" on websites blocked by Freedom. When you visit a blocked website, you'll see a calming green screen and be directed back towards your work. It is designed to keep a computer user away from the Internet for up to eight hours at a time. It is described as a way to "free you from distractions, allowing you time to write, analyze, code, or create."

3. Rescue Time

RescueTime automatically tracks the time you spend on apps, websites, and even specific documents without timers or any manual entry. You’ll get detailed reports on exactly where your time goes and what’s getting in the way of your productivity. You can discover the truth about your working habits, find time sinks, and set smart goals so you can track your progress as you become more productive and focused.

4. Brain.fm

Music is usually made to grab your attention and express emotion. But brain.fm creates music with a new approach, starting with your needs and working from there. As a result, Brain.fm sounds different–and affects your brain differently–than any other music.

Just as the visual design of an office or bedroom should enhance its function, the music you listen to should support your goals as well. Think of Brain.fm as interior design for your mind.

5. Focus Keeper

Focus Keeper helps you keep your productivity high avoiding burnout using the pomodoro timer. Work with time. Not against it. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

Focus keeper is used for study and work, ideally for students and entrepreneurs. You can track and record your time. First you decide on the task to be done. Then set the Pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes). Work on the job. End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper and take a break to reward yourself. Its that simple.

So there you have it. 5 apps that will help you stay focused. What are you waiting for?

Nikhita Makam
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Nikhita Makam is a 17 year old high school student by day and a poet by night. She's a poet with over thirty published works, an editor, a pianist and an undercover ninja. One of those is a lie. She doesn't play piano.