There’s an unending stream of content and information available to us at all times, which makes it difficult to get things done.
While our prductivity may benefit from the pressure of paychecks and deadlines, our hobbies and side projects are the most likely to suffer from these distractions, which sometimes result in hours spent staring at our phones and laptop screens in a mind numbing haze.
In order to be more productive, a conscious effort needs to be made. We have to choose to do that thing that’s been bugging us, even if it means postponing the TV show that everyone’s been talking about. Luckily, there are tons of tools that can limit your browsing and internet use, helping you dedicate at least an hour of your time to something that will make you feel good and accomplished in the long run.
Here are 5 of the best apps and browser extensions that will help you spend your time more wisely than Googling random questions.
Freedom is the most comprehensive of these extensions, controlling your browsing and app usage across all of your devices. By paying for the premium subscription, Freedom allows you to schedule your time in order to leave you with no choice but to get some work done, at least when using your devices. The app is very cheap, costing $2.42 or $6.99 for a yearly or monthly subscription.
This Google Chrome extension is very easy to use and is one of the most flexible ones out there, setting your preferred time limits for different websites. This soft approach allows for you to have some fun but to not let it get out of hand. While it won’t stop you from browsing on your phone, it’s one of the best services available for free.
Limit is also similar to StayFocusd, being a free browser extension and setting daily limits on your favorite websites. These services are very freeing; once you’ve completed your daily browsing quota, you’re free to do whatever it is that you wanted to do.
For a lot of people, YouTube is one of the biggest distractions around, recommending videos and playlists of whatever random thing you’re into, be that gaming or make up tutorials.
YouTube Rabbit Hole is a very specific extension that protects you from these situations, reducing your ability to, well, fall into a YouTube rabbit hole. It’s very versatile, allowing for you to block comments, sidebars, subscription pages, and anything that might trigger your YouTube reflex for more videos.
One of the most creative productivity concepts comes from Forest, an app that encourages you to cultivate little virtual trees over visiting Instagram and Facebook. This app doesn’t actually block anything, it just makes you feel very guilty over using your phone for other things over cultivating trees. It really works.