Sep 22nd, 2020

There is so much going on around us that sometimes it can be quite difficult to just put our heads down and spend some good honest time focusing on the task at hand. Distractions come in many forms, but perhaps the bane of the office worker in modern times are those that come from notifications, apps, and the constant and steady stream of information and communication that bombards us from our devices, every minute of every day. Staying focused doesn’t have to be a chore if you use some of these tips and apps that we’ve collected for you.

Some General Tips for Staying Focused

Before we get to the apps, consider some general tips on how to make better use of your time. You can do this by looking around you for distractions and doing your best to remove them. This means eliminating noise or moving to somewhere quieter and making it known to those around you that you are trying to focus and shouldn’t be disturbed. You could also book time in your own calendar, so your colleagues know you’re busy.

Limit your intake of stimulants like caffeine because while your morning coffee might wake you up, if you drink too much coffee, you’ll end up with the opposite effect caused by the anxiety or nervousness that might come with drinking too much coffee. About nutrition, make sure you get the right foods into your diet like plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks like nuts or seeds. Don’t forget hydration too – plenty of water!

Blocksite

At its core, our digital distraction is caused by our desire to constantly check our social media feeds, chat applications and favorite sources of news and information constantly, and this is where the simple genius that is Blocksite can help. Not only does the app allow you to block websites that are your biggest distractions, it can also adapt to the way you want to work with features that will block them and others for a specified time. It can even help keep the young ones at bay by blocking adult content too. It’s probably the simplest concept on our list to help you stay focused, but also likely the most useful one when you’re looking to get serious about your productivity.

Noisli

The second app on our list is Noisli, a productivity app that taps into the way we respond to noise, and the inclusion of white noise or background noise in our environment and its effect on focus. It is based on the premise that loud noises or sudden bangs or crashes in our environment will break our concentration or focus, so aims to introduce steady and calming background noise. It boasts 28 unique high-quality noises that can be played individually or in your own combinations, as well as some pre-selected combinations recommended by the app developers.

HabitBull

Another angle to attack difficulty concentrating is to create and build healthy habits. HabitBull embraces the idea that if you consistently do something, it’s eventually going to turn into a habit. Using very striking visuals, HabitBull is designed to help you form new habits by motivating you not to break your streaks and reporting on your daily progress and how well you’re doing. You’ll find all kinds of useful and motivating features in the app, like motivational quotes and the ability to interact with others who are making use of the app to try and build good habits just like you. 

Lumosity

Brain games are popping up on the Play Store’s most used or installed apps often now, and that’s because they make some bold claims about their ability to improve focus, cognitive processes and your ability to learn new ideas and concepts quicker. The basic idea behind Lumosity is that it’s like a gym for your brain, giving you practice in several different areas like memory, attention and problem solving and presenting them in fun games – complete with leader boards and progress trackers to keep you coming back for more.

Donut Dog

Donut Dog is an app for your phone that promises to increase your productivity by creating a game out of not using your phone. It’s a cutesy premise where you earn virtual donuts by not using your phone. It then takes that basic premise and expands on it into an almost role-playing game sized ecosystem, offering up a leveling system, experience points and quests. Completing quests can reward you with gems and you can use the gems to buy new donut recipes or upgrade your donut machine, and so begins the bizarre attraction of the Donut Dog.

With some quick and easy changes to your environment and an app or two to improve your focus or productivity workflow, staying in the zone and getting your deliverables finished in time doesn’t have to be the hard slog it has always been. Focus and true productivity mean achieving the right balance of removing distractions and creating a conducive working environment and both are necessary to get the most out of your day.