Apps to Help You Focus and Block Out Distraction

Improve your productivity and manage your time wisely with the help of these mobile apps



Do you find yourself struggling to focus on your current tasks? Don’t fret; it’s normal. With all forms of distraction coming at us from left, right, and center, as we juggle multiple deadlines, too, it can be a challenge to merely focus: to sit down with a task and power through it with intention, purpose, and your full attention.


To win the game of what gets your precious attention, consider downloading focus apps that can help you develop mindfulness practices for a better grasp of work-life balance. Focus apps are intended to target particular distractions or unhealthy habits to give you time to be centered. Give your undivided attention to the more important matters!


Here are some ways that focus apps can support you: They block access to the websites that distract you from your responsibilities; they track how much time you allot for different tasks and website browsing; and they offer user-friendly timers should you wish to try the Pomodoro technique (a time management method that divides work into 25-minute intervals, separated by short resting breaks).


In addition, focus apps can help you get into a state of flow: being immersed in a task without being distracted by outside influences such as idle browsing on social media. When part of your brain is focused on something else, your cognitive resources are divided. This only makes you prone to being less organized with processing information. However, if you can fully concentrate on a single thing, you can preserve mental energy. This ultimately leads to increased productivity and efficiency. Who wouldn’t love that for 2023?


Check out the list ahead of focus apps that can support you as you successfully manage your schedule and tasks in 2023.



Forest: Focus for Productivity

Getting to focus might mean serious business, but this doesn’t mean finding calm is out the window. This process doesn’t have to be rigid at all—and Forest is proof. Ranked the #1 paid app in 157 countries, Forest combines the Pomodoro technique with gaming elements to motivate users to stay focused on their goals. When you begin working, you plant a seed that grows into a lush tree over the next 25 minutes. Your plant, however, withers whenever you begin browsing pages on your list of blocked websites. 


Ultimately, this app instills discipline while offering a sense of achievement. When users see the visualized forest with the trees that grew as they focused, they feel a sense of reward and return to that feeling of calm. The best thing about this app is that you can plant real trees to save the Earth through the partnership of the developers with Trees of the Future. This is an organization dedicated to planting trees and ending hunger. 


Forest is available for free on Android and can be purchased starting at P199 via the App Store for iOS. Apart from smartphones, you can also access Forest as a Chrome extension for your computer.





Freedom – Block Distractions

A convenient way of staying focused is by blocking out excessive online notifications and distracting apps. Freedom allows you to block websites and puts you in the driver’s seat of what you can and cannot see, and what you can and cannot access. Decide which websites to include in your custom block lists, so you can focus on the to-do items that matter most. This app gives you the capacity to set durations and specific timeframes so you can keep track of your scheduled blocking sessions. It also has a lockdown mode which makes it impossible to edit your block list while a session is ongoing. Never thought you could resist the urge to scroll through Instagram on your laptop? This app makes it possible.


Freedom is accessible and easy to control across devices, allowing you simultaneously to block websites and apps on your smartphone, tablet, and computer. Freedom is available for free both on Android and iOS devices.




Lumosity: Brain Training

In order to absorb new information and crucial details at work or in school, the mind needs to take a break, too. Lumosity helps train your cognitive skills with fun and creative games that target memory and reasoning. If you feel like your attention span is shrinking, the educational games featured in this app are designed to help develop math skills and boost vocabulary, as well as improve your mental focus and memory retention. The app also provides insights and tailored feedback to guide your training and enhance your brain function every time you play the games. 


Lumosity is available for free both on Android and iOS devices.





Noisli

If you work at home or at an office with distracting sounds like traffic or loud noises, Noisli is your best bet. This app boosts your productivity by allowing you to mix different sounds that improve focus. You can create your own combinations, so whether you like the gentle pitter-patter of raindrops or the rustling of forest leaves, Noisli has something to match your mood. It also has a timer function if you want to measure the duration of your tasks. 


Noisli is available for purchase for P99 via the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.




Todoist: To-Do List and Planner

This simple yet powerful to-do task manager app supports users as they plan out their habits and organize their work and personal lives. Users, especially those who are visual thinkers, can add task boards for different activities and assign them to designated point persons involved in their teams, routines at home, and so much more. 


When used within a team, members can comment on task boards and view a list of subtasks, reminders, and deadlines to ensure that everyone can track the progress of a project and can understand their respective duties. 


Todoist is available for free via the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.





Trello

This app is an easy way to manage and track not just to-do lists but overall progress markers that can benefit you and your colleagues at work. Trello has a system that follows the Kanban method (Japanese for “visual card”), a visual method for managing workflows at the individual, team, and organizational levels. On Trello, each board consists of three columns: “to do,” “doing,” and “done.” Here, you can find at a glance all the cards that you can customize based on the tasks needed to complete the project. In addition, tasks are color-coded with labels and the names of the assigned members for easier navigation.


Trello is helpful and works to clarify the collaborative workflow of an entire team or to remind yourself of the current status of your various duties. As the tasks are completed, the cards can be moved to the “done” column, which allows everyone to see progress and check if the project is on track. 


Trello is available for free via the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.




Staying focused on your tasks can be daunting sometimes, but with these apps, you can develop good habits to help you live a happier life.


Hoping to double down on concentrating at work? Up next: 5 Apps to Help You Concentrate and Get Those Tasks Done.



Author Cris Roxas

Art Maurice Zafra

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