Sometimes it can feel difficult to concentrate, especially when you have the entirety of human knowledge at your fingertips; there are infinite distractions that are just a click away thanks to PCs, laptops, and modern mobile devices. Whether you’re at school, in the office, or working from home, sometimes it can feel like you need to take drastic actions to avoid distractions and help yourself concentrate.
We spoke with TechQuarters, one of the top IT support companies for SMB organizations in London. They are definitely sympathetic when it comes to trying to stay focused at work; some people need more help than others to stay focused. Luckily, there are some great apps just for this purpose – below are the top picks for concentration aids.
The beauty of this application is that it works across all platforms – say you have an Android tablet, an Apple iPhone, and a Chromebook and you use all 3 for work; if you get distracted by YouTube, for example, you can block it across Android, iOS, and Chrome, all using Freedom.
This is a great solution for those who have good intentions like blocking apps on their phone, only to get tempted to browse the web or desktop version of the app – once you start a session, the apps you blocked will remain blocks across all your devices. You can set up several blocklists to restrict different apps or webpages, and you can even schedule recurring sessions to block distracting apps whenever you’re at work, for example.
Cold Turkey (one-time purchase)
If you only use a PC or Mac and no other devices, this may be the ideal app for you. Cold Turkey is primarily aimed at blocking web apps and sites, but it is a system-wide tool, which means even if you change web browsers, all blocked apps remain unavailable until your session ends.
As providers of IT support services, TechQuarters knows there are lots of ways to use the settings on a computer to get around some of the more common focus apps you can download. However, Cold Turkey anticipates that some people will be tempted to do this, which is why it has a range of settings to help you stay on track; for example, there is an option to make it impossible to uninstall the app whilst a session is running, in case you’re tempted to try and disable it in order to access a distracting app or site.
Forest (one-time purchase)
This focus app is a bit different from the previous ones listed, which are based on a zero-trust policy (they expect users will be tempted to find a way around the blocklists they create). Forest is kind of like a game that encourages you to maintain your willpower. Every time you create a focus session, you plant a virtual tree in an imaginary forest on the app.
The longer your sessions run, the more the tree will grow. However, the app allows you to cancel a focus session early; when you cancel a session, the virtual tree you planted will die. You can view your forest, and it will contain each tree that was planted during a focus session; the more times you quit a session, the more dead trees will appear in your forest.
This is a very different approach to other apps, because it relies on the user making and keeping promises to focus, instead of forcing them to focus.
As a provider of business IT support London businesses have been using for more than a decade, TechQuarters know a lot about how people work, and they recommend users take regular breaks throughout their day.
Focus apps aren’t all about blocking out distractions. To focus successfully you need to remember that taking breaks to relax and refresh yourself is actually more conducive to focus than trying to force yourself to work all day.
This is where awareness comes in. You can use the app to set work periods and rest periods – for example; 60 minute work periods and 5 minute rest periods. Every time a rest period comes around, you will be alerted, gently, with the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl.
Once again, focus and concentration aren’t just restricting access to apps and sites that distract you; it’s also about creating the right environment to focus. This is what Brain.fm achieves. This app has a library of sounds and aural tracks that are designed to stimulate your brain and help you concentrate on tasks.
Brain.fm makes patented music that is scientifically designed to achieve different purposes. For example, they have music to help you get to sleep, music for meditation, and music for focus sessions.