15 Best Apps and Websites for Focus and Productivity

Focusing while working is a problem many people face today. Between email, Slack, and social media notifications, distractions are so prevalent that it can be hard to focus on a task. According to Crucial Learning’s study of 1,600 respondents, two out of three struggle to fully focus on a single task. The majority of people (68 percent) have difficulty focusing at work, but some (62 percent) have difficulty focusing at home as well.

Even when we are able to concentrate, it doesn’t last long. The survey revealed that nearly one in three responders have trouble focusing for more than 10 minutes at a time before getting distracted.

The good news is that you can find many apps and websites to assist you with focus and productivity.

1. StayFocusd

Using this Chrome extension, you can focus better and be more productive. How? As soon as you have used up your allotted time on social media and other websites, you will no longer be able to access them. In other words, you are limited to how much time you can spend on time-wasting websites.

Furthermore, it provides statistics on how often you get distracted and tips for reducing it. As well as that, the extension is very easy to use. Simply install it and click the control button on the bottom right of your screen. When the limit on how long you spend on each website is reached, it will notify you. It also shows you how well your focus is holding up over time using helpful graphs.

Downloading StayFocused is free, but donations are optional.

2. Freedom

In most cases, distraction blockers only work with the device you’re currently using. That’s not the case with Freedom. Distractions can be blocked on all of your devices simultaneously using this app, including websites and apps. In other words, the days of blocking Instagram on your computer and then reopening it on your phone are over. Whenever you start a session, distractions are blocked across the board.

You can create as many blocklists as you like and start or schedule sessions based on them. Locked mode prevents you from ending a Freedom session on days when your willpower is weak. Additionally, there are optional focus sounds, such as noise from coffee shops or nature.

The downside? The free trial offers six distraction-free sessions, but there is no long-term free version. It should be enough time for you to try it out and see if it works.

Pricing for Freedom: $3.33/month for annual billing or $8.99/month for monthly billing; $159.99 for lifetime billing

3. Noisli

If you are looking for an app to help you stay relaxed, focused, and productive at work, then Nosli is a perfect choice.

Why? Using Noisli, you can reduce stress and anxiety by blocking out distracting background noise. As a result, you can concentrate for longer periods of time since sudden spikes in external noise can be reduced.

To put it another way, with Noisli, you can play “productive” music from environments like coffee shops and forest sounds and drown out annoying background noises.

Best of all? Nosili is free to join.

4. Lumosity

Are you feeling that your attention span has shrunk and that your memory has declined? If so, you should check out online brain games to help you focus. An example is Lumosity, a program consisting of games that claim to improve memory, attention, flexibility, processing speed, and problem-solving abilities.

It should be noted that there is no substantial evidence that brain-training apps can slow or prevent cognitive decline, even if they provide a boost. It is true, however, that if you practice something, you will get better at it. Also, you’re just playing a game, and that’s enjoyable. And, as you get better at it, it becomes more engaging.

Lumosity is free for limited access. It’s then $15/month or $80/year for premium membership.

5. OmniFocus

For those willing to spend some bucks on useful tech, OmniFocus is ideal for managing your productivity. In fact, it may even be considered one of the most popular “to-do” apps available today.

The design of OmniFocus is simple and easy to use, allowing users to increase productivity and improve workflow. All your productivity needs can be handled with OmniFocus, from a to-do list to a calendar to a file organizer. Think of OmniFocus as an easy-to-use and powerful second brain, allowing you to capture and organize all your activities in one place. Furthermore, OmniFocus syncs with your PC through OmniFocus for the Web or across all your Apple devices.

You get OmniFocus Pro for Mac, OmniFocus Pro for iOS, and OmniFocus for the Web with the OmniFocus Subscription ($9.99/month or $99.99/year).

6. SelfControl

Users of SelfControl can block websites they feel they spend too much time on by blocking access. During a specified period, these websites are blocked. As a result — focus is improved, and productivity is increased.

As a distraction-free app, SelfControl includes a mode that prevents the removal of block patterns for a set period of time. By doing this, you can remain focused on your task without being distracted by unnecessary content on the web.

This open-source application is free and available for MacOS.

7. Cold Tukey

Customizability is the key feature of Cold Turkey Blocker. How? Because this site-blocking app allows you to create lists of websites and desktop apps you want to block, then schedule when they’ll be blocked.

For example, you could block social media and video sites during work hours. After work hours, you can also block work applications, such as Slack. The choice is yours. You can also manually disable and enable blocking if you prefer.

You can even turn on a mode called Frozen Turkey, which prevents you from accessing your computer completely. Moreover, the next time you try to log into your computer, it will lock again if you turn on Frozen Turkey.

Due to its system-wide nature, you cannot work around this by changing browsers. In fact, there are all kinds of settings that prevent future versions of yourself from working around your current choices. For instance, you can block the Time & Language settings, which prevents you from changing your computer’s time to work around a scheduled block.

For people who only need basic features, such as blocking websites for a period of time, there is a free version available. However, Cold Turkey pricing is only $39 for Pro, which lets you block desktop apps and websites as well as block unlimited blocking.

8. Forest

In today’s world, that’s full of distractions, it’s difficult to focus on one thing at a time. With Forest by your side, though, you can get your mind focused again.

With Forest, users are challenged to “plant a tree” and wait patiently until it reaches a fully grown tree to regain focus. As the app instructs users to concentrate on this single task, it hopes to help people regain their focus so they can return to work with improved productivity.

Additionally, the Forest team works with Trees for the Future, an organization that plants real trees on Earth — if you’re concerned about the environment. By spending virtual coins earned in Forest, users plant real trees, and the Forest team creates planting orders and donates them to their partners.

Forest is available for as an iPhone and Android app, as well as a Chrome Extension.

9. AdBlock

Among ad blockers, AdBlock is widely used. Using it, you can remove ads from websites. As a result, it greatly enhances your productivity and focus when you use AdBlock.

Why is AdBlock so effective? Without the ads distracting you, you can fully engage with the content you’re viewing. After all, by blocking ads, you’ll be able to focus on what you’re reading or watching without having ads interrupt your attention. In this way, you can accomplish more tasks in less time, increasing your productivity.

AdBlock also eliminates the temptation to click on ads. Ads are designed to capture your attention and entice you to buy something, but AdBlock blocks them, so you don’t get lured in. Ultimately, you’ll become more disciplined and mindful when it comes to spending your time and money.

10. LeechBlock NG

LeechBlock NG (the NG stands for “next generation”) is a free tool that blocks distractions in Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and other Chromium-based browsers such as Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi. You can restrict any number of websites you want by making lists of those to block.

You can block up to 30 sets of sites, each with different times and days. In addition, you can set up rules to limit the amount of time you spend on distracting apps. You could, for example, spend 20 minutes every day watching YouTube or four minutes every hour on Twitter.

Interested in getting even more specific? You can combine time limits with a schedule if you wish. Every hour, for instance, you can have five minutes of Instagram time from 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Alternatively, a one-time “lockdown” schedule can be triggered.

For a free tool, it has a lot of power. And you can even lock down the settings during block sessions. What’s the only downside? LeechBlock prevents you from browsing sites at specified times. However, your browser may still be temporarily connected to those sites. You may still be logged in by your IP address, for instance.

11. RescueTime

Primarily, RescueTime is a productivity tracker. But you can also “turn off” distracting websites using its features. Even with a free lite plan, you will get productivity reports to see when you’re distracted and are most productive.

It’s easier to challenge yourself to spend less time on certain sites when you can see exactly how much time you spend there. Because of this, you can focus on what truly matters.

But that’s not all. By adding your calendar, RescueTime will send you alerts at the most effective times. Also, you can connect to Spotify and listen to the perfect focus playlist during your session.

The free version of RescueTime is available for download, while the paid version is available for trial for 14 days. The subscription costs $12/month or $6.50 when billed annually.

12. Headspace

Headspace provides guided meditations and calming sounds to reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost focus through meditation. There are a lot of people who use it to find clarity and peace from all backgrounds.

With an interactive interface that guides you step by step through the techniques, this app is well-designed and easy to use. Despite the sessions’ short length, the soundtracks are calming and soothing, so they’re suitable for busy schedules. For anyone interested in trying meditation for the first time, Headspace is a great choice. It is easy to use, affordable, and simple to set up. The annual subscription costs $69.99 after your free trial.

13. Focus Booster

By alternating between 25-minute sessions and a 5-minute break, Focus Booster uses the useful Pomodoro technique. As a result of the short breaks, the method increases attention and focus.

The Focus Booster incorporates that technique with a timer. Additionally, Focus Booster lets users track their activities to ensure that they stay on track. Each month, you get 20 sessions with the free basic package. There is a 30-day free trial available for the Professional package, which offers even more features for $4.99/month.

14. One Sec

With One sec, you can finally escape social media distractions.

There are two main features of the app:

  • If you open an app on social media, it forces you to take a deep breath for one second.
  • Secondly, distracting apps are less appealing when they add friction.

Every time you open an app, One Sec forces you to take a breather and ensures you’re not wasting your time on unimportant tasks. Furthermore, you are less likely to get distracted by irrelevant content because of the friction.

Why is this relevant to time management? It is easy to free up more time for essential tasks if you follow these simple steps. By doing so, you can take more control of your life.

‘One Sec’ has limited features in its free version – you can only use it for one app at a time. Multiple intervention and automation options are available in the paid version, including scheduling, intentional app switching, reminders to close apps, time tracking, website blocking, and focus sessions.

15. Brain.fm

Using scientifically designed sounds, Brain.fm claims to boost concentration. With this music player, you can choose from a variety of genres, moods, and categories. These include focus, memory, and sleep.

With Brain.fm, you’ll listen to a user-friendly service that adapts to your habits as you listen. With science behind it, it seems like an excellent method of relaxing and focusing simultaneously.

Image Credit: Andrea Piaquadio; Pexels; Thank you!

 15 Best Apps and Websites for Focus and Productivity was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.