The grail of every employed person is finding the perfect work-life balance. Everyone’s looking for the key to working smarter, not harder. And the answer lies in the art of time management. Time management is essential if you want to be productive and successful. But it’s not easy! It takes focus and dedication to master the art of time management. And that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best focus apps to help you work smarter, not harder.
From to-do lists to task managers, these apps will help you make the most of your time and achieve your goals. So check them out and start working smarter today!
What’s a Focus App?
During the first two years of the COVID-19 epidemic and the transition to hybrid and remote work, worker productivity rose to near-record levels. However, in the first half of 2022, productivity plummeted, leaving experts perplexed. Research into the root cause could take some time, but in the meantime, we can consider a potential solution: Focus Apps.
Focus apps are becoming increasingly popular as our lives become more and more reliant on technology. With so many distractions only a click away, it’s no wonder that people are looking for ways to boost their productivity. Focus apps work by blocking out distractions like social media or email, or by helping you to track your time and set goals. While each app has its own unique features, they all share one common goal: to help you stay productive and focused.
Are Focus Apps Really Helpful?
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re familiar with the “new normal” of constant technological distraction. Whether you’re working from home, taking online classes, or simply trying to unwind after a long day, it can be hard to stay focused when you have so many things vying for your attention. Fortunately, there are now a number of focus apps that claim to be able to help with this very problem.
Focus apps are designed to help you be more productive by blocking out distractions and keeping you on track. But do they really work? Let’s find out!
Here are five ways they can help:
1. Time blocking: Focus apps can help you make the most of your time by blocking out distractions and keeping you on track.
2. Pomodoro technique: This technique involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. Focus apps can help you stay on track by keeping track of your time and reminding you when it’s time for a break.
3. Gamification: Gamification is the process of using game-like elements to make something more fun and engaging. Focus apps can use gamification to make productivity more fun and rewarding.
4. Eliminating distractions: One of the biggest productivity killers is distractions. Focus apps can help by eliminating distractions like email notifications, pop-ups, and social media alerts.
5. Motivation: Sometimes, all it takes to be more productive is a little motivation. Focus apps can provide motivation through positive reinforcement, badges, and rewards.
So if you’re looking for ways to be more productive, the following 13 focus apps may be worth checking out. Just remember, they’re not magic pills—it’s up to you to put in the work!
13 Best Focus Apps To Avoid Distraction
If you’re looking for an application that can help you focus at work, Freedom is your best bet. Freedom allows you to block distracting applications and websites so you can stay focused on your work. With Freedom, you won’t have to worry about Instagram notifications, messages, or email promotions bothering you while you’re trying to get your work done. Freedom is a great way to free yourself from the temptations of social media so you can focus on what’s important.
- Block all types of websites, applications, and games simultaneously.
- Automated scheduling option for blocking.
- Provide focus music and ambient sounds, and provide limiters for browsers and applications.
- It can be used on an unlimited number of devices per session, syncing blocking preferences on each.
- Free Trial: Though the application had a free version, it is no longer available, though there is a free trial.
- Monthly: $8.99 with unlimited access to the application for that month.
- Annual: $3.33 a month, with one year of unlimited access.
- Lifetime: $79.99 for unlimited access to the app forever.
If you’re looking for a more website-specific blocker, Cold Turkey Blocker is a great option. It offers all of the benefits of Freedom, but is a one-time purchase instead of a subscription. So if you’re not a fan of subscriptions, this app is a better option for you. Plus, it has some handy features that Freedom doesn’t have, like the ability to schedule breaks and set goals. So if you’re looking for a blocking app that will give you more control over your time, Cold Turkey Blocker is the way to go.
The application does not support mobile devices, designed for Mac, and Windows.
- Subscription-free purchase.
- Does not collect private information.
- Free version is available offering website blocking, timed blocks, and statistics on individual website/application use.
- Blocks domains, URLs, and keywords, and can shut down internet access.
- Provides the option to create a blocking schedule.
- Pause for a cause option allows you to donate to the World Wildlife Fund.
- Block files, and folders.
- The pro application allows you to set passwords as well.
Free version: access to website blocking, exceptions, timed blocks, and statistics.
Lifetime: $39.00 unlimited access to all services.
The average American spends around 5 hours on their phone every day. That’s a lot of time spent staring at a screen! But what if there was a way to put down your phone and still be productive? Enter Forest: the app that helps you stay away from your phone.
Forest works by planting a virtual tree for the user. The tree takes around 25 minutes to grow, and during that time the user must stay away from their phone or the tree dies. Not only does Forest help you break your phone addiction, but it can also help you fight climate change. With the paid version of the app, each virtual tree is equal to a real tree being planted. So why not give Forest a try? It might just be the solution to your phone addiction.
- Uses the urge of people to gain progress in the app as a means to stop them from using their phones.
- Create an interactive virtual forest.
- One-time payment.
- Pro version provides a means to plant trees in real life (1490,322 treats planted).
Free version: create your very own virtual forest.
Pro version: $1.99 one-time payment, and sync data across devices.
If you’re addicted to social media, SelfControl is the tough love you need to get your life back on track. This website/application blocker prevents you from accessing blocked applications for a set amount of time, no matter what. That means no more checking Facebook every five minutes or refreshing your Twitter feed obsessively. With SelfControl, you can finally break the cycle of addiction and get the distraction-free life you deserve.
The app is only available for MacOS, so all Windows and Android users will have to settle for some of the other apps on this list.
- Free unlimited access.
- The option to create an extensive block list, and set timers.
- Rebooting, and deleting does not remove the block.
- Block anything on your Mac device.
- The only way to remove the block early is to reinstall the OS.
Lifetime: free use and access to all its features.
5. Rescue Time
RescueTime is a focus application that is gaining popularity for its effective blocking features. The app allows users to set focus work periods, during which all activity that is not related to the focus work is blocked. This can be a helpful way to stay on task and avoid unnecessary distractions.
For individuals who have difficulty staying focused, RescueTime can be a valuable tool. In addition to its blocking features, the app also tracks user activity and uses this information to help identify the biggest distractions. As a result, RescueTime can help users increase their productivity and focus..
The app is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS so feel free to give it a shot.
- Statistics on the usage of each application on your device.
- Automated time-tracking and setting distraction blocking.
- Block all websites, and applications that are most distracting to you automatically.
Free trial: 2 weeks of access to the application’s features except for distraction blocking, so it is not really a good deal.
Monthly: $12 for unlimited access to the application for a month.
Annual: $78 a year for unlimited access to all the features that year.
Feeling a little OCD? Then the Task Master application is perfect for you. The application provides a comprehensive toolset for people who find it difficult to focus on individual tasks throughout the workday.
Be Focused Pro helps you break down complex tasks into simple, manageable steps. It also allows you to set deadlines and reminders, so you can stay on track and meet your goals. In addition, the app includes a handy rewards system that motivates you to stay focused and productive. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity, check out Be Focused Pro. It might just be the perfect solution for you.
- The application offers distraction blocking.
- Block or delete accounts.
- One-time payment.
- Timers and schedules to automatically block websites or apps throughout the day.
- Auto-start options, syncing options, and more.
Lifetime: $2.99 for unlimited access to all features of the application.
If you’re the type of person who likes to plan and organize their day down to the minute, then Serene is the perfect tool for you. With Serene, you can set goals, create task lists, and block out distractions, all in one place.
This application is perfect for anyone who wants to make sure that they’re staying on track and getting important tasks done on time. Plus, with Serene’s distraction-blocking features, you can make sure that you have complete focus when it’s time to get down to business. So why wait? Get Serene today and start achieving your goals!
The application is only available for Mac for now, but it will be available for Windows soon.
Timers, focus music, and pre-planned schedules.
Block all digital distractions.
Set specific goals at specific times throughout the day.
Free trial: you can access 10 free work hours on the application, with access to all its features.
Annual: $4 a month is billed annually for unlimited use of all its features.
If you’re looking for more than just a distraction blocker, Taskade is the application for you. With Taskade, you get a focus application that helps you deal with workflows and collaborate between teams. This application also caters to teams, not just individuals as in the case of the previous names on the list.
Taskade is the all-in-one workspace for your mind and team. Declutter and structure your ideas in one place. Brainstorm better with fewer distractions. And manage your team projects more efficiently from start to finish.
The application is available across all major platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac)
- Task management features like virtual organizers.
- Hierarchy establishment between teams.
- All fundamental distraction-blocking features.
- Plan and sync calendars of team members.
Free: The free option provides a lot of features but does not access distraction blocking.
Unlimited: reserved for individual users for around $5 a month, access to all features.
Organization: For companies with large teams, the application is $20 a month for unlimited access.
For anyone who’s ever felt guilty about spending too much time browsing the internet, there’s now a handy solution: Pawblock. This new app is designed to help users stay focused on their work, by providing a cute and furry reminder of their procrastination. Every time you move away from your computer, a disappointed puppy stares at you, begging you to get back to work.
Pawblock is perfect for anyone who tends to get distracted by online cat videos or the latest celebrity gossip. And best of all, it’s free! So if you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity, be sure to give Pawblock a try.
The application is only available for PC operating systems that run Chrome or Firefox.
- Offers a soft block, unlike most of the applications on this list.
- Blocks websites and applications from working on the browser.
- Repeatedly questions you when you try to move past the sad animal images.
- Helps develop a more positive relationship between work and rest time.
Free: access to the application is completely free of charge.
If you’ve been struggling to stay on task and complete your work on time, it might be time to try out Focus. Focus is an app that helps you establish a workflow so you can get more done in less time. With Focus, you can work for a given amount of time, take a break for 5 to 10 minutes, and have all the features of distraction blocking running in the background. This means you won’t have to worry about being interrupted by notifications or other distractions while you’re trying to focus on your work. In addition, the app comes with a variety of features that can help you customize your workflow and make it more efficient.
The app is only available for Mac OS, but don’t worry we will be discussing more inclusive applications down the line.
- Block websites, and applications with a single click.
- Comprehensive productivity schedule.
- You can set timers so you know when it’s time to take a break.
- You can create custom lists of tasks so you can keep track of what needs to be done.
- Highly customizable work and rest timetables.
Personal: $2 monthly including website blocking, hardcore mode, and timer mode.
Professional: $6 a month includes schedule mode, Pomodoro mode, break more, passwords, and everything personal.
Lifetime: $74 a year, unlimited access to all features yearly.
11. Stay focused
Have you ever been in the zone, completely focused on a task, when suddenly a notification pops up and derails your whole train of thought? It can be frustrating trying to regain that focus, and it often feels like the internet is working against you.
But what if there was a way to control those distractions? That’s where StayFocused comes in. This Google extension helps people with a problem focusing on one task to set boundaries and make any distraction completely inaccessible for the day.
The application only works on the Chrome browser.
- Set timers and block websites.
- The block remains for the entire day.
- User is able to undo the block.
- Easy to use, and simple installation process.
Free: a free browser extension for Google Chrome.
If you’re finding it difficult to focus on a single task, this new application may be just what you need. Developed by researchers who studied brain activation patterns at the National Science Foundation, the app uses ambient music to engage your brain and help you focus.
The creators claim that it’s an effective way to ‘hack your brain’ and remove all distractions. So if you’re struggling to stay on task, this could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Give it a try and see if it helps you achieve the level of focus you need.
The application is compatible with all mobile platforms.
- Provides special ambient music to promote focus, and reduce distractions.
- Free trial to see whether it works for you.
- A novel way to remove distractions without forcing yourself to work.
Monthly: $6.99 monthly, for access to all features for the month.
Yearly: $49.99 a year for access to all features for the year.
LeechBlock is a great tool for anyone who struggles with focus and productivity. By blocking up to 30 websites, it gives users the power to control their own distractions. And by setting timers, it allows them to work with conviction and focus. But LeechBlock is more than just a distraction blocker. It’s also a humble tool that can help you work smarter, not harder.
By blocking distracting websites and setting timers, LeechBlock forces you to focus on the task at hand and use your time more effectively. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity, LeechBlock is a great option.
As an extension, this application works on most browsers so you’re good to go regardless of the device you use.
- Block distracting devices with a simple click.
- Ease user experience.
- Schedulable time for app blocking.
- A powerful tool considering its price.
- Set timers on distracting sites like YouTube.
Free: all of the features of the application’s features are accessible completely for free.
2023 is right around the corner, and with it comes a new year and new opportunities to be productive. If you’re looking for a way to increase your productivity, focus apps may be the answer. Focus apps are designed to help you stay on task and avoid distractions. They can be used for both personal and professional tasks.
There are a variety of Focus apps available, so finding the right one for you can be a challenge. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 best focus apps. We hope this list will help you find the right tool for your needs so that you can achieve your goals. Thanks for reading, and we wish you all the best in 2023!