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Top 5 Anti-Distraction Applications to Stay Focused in 2022

How often do you pick your phone for googling one little query, and after an hour, find yourself binging through blogs, YouTube videos, OTTs, and whatnot? There is no denying that today, answers to our every question are just a few clicks away, but the illuminating light of technology’s blessing gets a bit foggy when dived deep. 

Yes! Most of the work nowadays takes place on the internet, but in the borderless, digitally connected world, distractions are always a click away. But, unfortunately, the perks of this hyper-connectivity come with a hefty price, that we all are knowing or unknowingly paying, our ability to focus, and our attention span. 

While many may argue that getting out of the distractions is a matter of discipline, the odds don’t usually stand in our favor. Some of the most brilliant minds are working around the clock to make this dopamine slot machine more addicting in the name of “increasing engagement.” Fighting against these un-avoidable distractions solely based on willpower is like heading for a nuclear war with a water gun.

That is why there is no shame in taking extra steps to ensure you stay focused on your work and away from online diversions. In this article, we are presenting our top digital toolkit picks of the five best applications to help you focus and block distractions:

What are Anti-Distraction Applications?

The constant barrage of email notifications, Slack pings, and tool notifications interrupts our concentration at work. Most people can’t go 30 minutes without checking their email because of “inbox anxiety.” Each time a new request comes in, we immediately respond, using allochronic communication tools and stopping what we’re doing to respond to an urgent but not important email.

As the attention economy booms, there is growing competition among app developers to keep your attention in a saturated app market. Unfortunately, this is bad news for productivity. In this environment, it’s impossible to do productive, especially in deep work that requires uninterrupted concentration for prolonged periods of time.

Among the digital tools that interrupt us, only a select few exist specifically to resolve their disruption. Simply put, digital silence can be carved out using anti-distraction apps. The amount of anti-distraction technology available today is impressive-whether you’re interested in reducing chat-related distractions, restricting websites, or clearing desktop clutter.

We believe that a good distraction blocking app should be able to:

  • Allow you to set a schedule and/or a timer for important tasks
  • Offer encouragement
  • Add your chosen distraction causing application/websites to a block list
  • (at the very least) be annoying, so you stay away from distractions

Since our main focus for this article is to help you focus on your work on your computer while working a few clicks away from distractions, the list of focus applications below, though excellent, is not mobile-only tools. So, here are the top 5 anti-distraction apps that we find extremely useful:

Best Focus Applications

Cold Turkey Blocker

Cold Turkey Desktop Tutorial – UOS Assistive Technology

Cold Turkey Blocker

Works on: macOS, Windows

It’s the best app for kicking yourself out of your computer when you are feeling overwhelmed. Using it, you can block applications, the internet, or even the entire computer.

The Cold Turkey app gives you the option to have a list of blocked websites that is unlimited, unlike other anti-distraction apps. There is a default distraction list, and you can also create your own. Through this application, you can add any number of websites to a timer or scheduled block.

The feature called “Frozen Turkey” is what we love most about it. Upon its activation, you won’t be able to access your computer or account for some time until the time you scheduled before has ended. Using the Cold Turkey app will help you if you have difficulty shutting down all your electronics (such as when you go to sleep at night).

In addition, this app offers a motivational quote every time you attempt to access a blocked website to remind you to get back to work. It has a slick interface that lets you set up focus sessions with ease, and you can keep track of your data to identify your biggest time wasters.

Pricing: It comes with two pricing tiers: Basic and Pro. Pro is available for a one-time fee of $29. Basic is free, with minimal features.

Focus

Focus chrome extension for focusing on your work

Focus

Works on: Windows, macOS (Chrome-extension)

Using Focus, you can stay focused on your studies, learning, and work that matters. In addition, it is a great option for students because Focus allows them to block all non-educational websites to keep them focused and reduce distractions on the internet.

With Focus, you only need to set a pin, decide which websites you want to be able to access, and let Focus block the rest. Then, enter your pin and determine how long you want to stay on the blocked site if you want to visit a site you blocked.

Parents can set a pin for their children. It can also be set by a friend or partner for you if you want to use it for yourself.

There you go! When you study, remote learn, or need an extra boost of self-control to accomplish a task, and you now have internet guardrails to help keep you productive and on task.

Pro: Focus lets you decide which sites you want access to but then blocks the rest, so you don’t have to decide all the websites you want to block. You can quickly and easily get back on track and commit to your goals with its quick and simple setup.

Cons: It is possible to uninstall Focus, as with all browser extensions. Freedom is a better option for blocking distractions on all your devices if you need something a little more strict.

Pricing: Focus is free of cost chrome extension

Freedom

Freedom - Block Websites, Apps, and the Internet

Freedom

Works on: Windows (soon), macOS

To eliminate distractions, Freedom uses the most ruthless (and most effective) method: blocking the entire internet for up to eight hours. You can choose which social platforms or apps to block and whether to block all of them or leave some unblocked. As a result, this free software can keep you from opening all those unnecessary apps that distract you or accessing websites you intended to check for just a moment but ended up reading for an hour afterward. And, the best part, Freedom works both on a computer and on a mobile device.

Freedom’s Locked Mode will be of great use to you if you’re looking to manage distractions. Your settings cannot be changed until your session ends once the plugin is activated.

No matter how much you think you deserve it, you won’t get the chance to check Facebook! Your laptop may turn into a computer from 1994 in Locked Mode… but, sometimes, that’s what we need to get things done.

The downside: you can only run six distraction-free sessions during the limited free trial. Hopefully, you’ll have enough time to figure out whether it will work for you.

Pricing: the premium pricing starts from as low as $6.99/month

FocusBooster

Download focus booster for Mac | MacUpdate

FocusBooster

Works on: Mac and Windows

FocusBooster installs and configures in seconds. Therefore, it is important to keep track of how much time you spend with each client if you’re a freelancer who works with various clients regularly.

Not only does it track your working and browsing time, but it also reminds you to take a break.

Using its easy-to-read dashboard, you can track your progress on your to-do list and start acting. The FocusBooster’s Pomodoro techniques, visualizations, and monitoring progress will help you stay motivated, and you will know exactly where changes are needed.

Pricing: The application provides its users with three plans: Starter, Individual Plus, and Professional. Starter plan users can track time, perform 20 Pomodoro sessions, and see productivity reports in a month for free. It is possible to upgrade to a professional or individual plan later on if you love the app.

Forest

Forest mobile app

Forest

Works on: Windows, macOS, Android

You can use Forest as an ingenious little app to plant virtual trees on your mobile device rather than visiting distracting websites. With Forest’s behavioral approach to make you use your phone less, it has always been one of our favorite apps.

Pros: Forest doesn’t block anything despite what you might think – it merely encourages you to put down your phone. That simple nudge might seem like a con, but for many people, it will work! When you put down your phone, you’ll grow virtual trees, which reward you for ignoring distractions.

Cons: Since Forest doesn’t block anything, it isn’t for everyone. Choosing something else from this list might be a better choice if you need a more strict blocker. However, it may surprise you just how well a little virtual tree can keep you away from websites!

Pricing: The pricing structure of Forest varies for different operating systems

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