4 Anti-Distraction Apps

Has anyone ever told you that you’re on your phone too much?  Have you spent a good amount of time staring at your screen when you should’ve been doing something else (e.g. studying, working, etc.)?  Do you lack the motivation to simply put down your phone?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep on reading about a few anti-distraction tools to help you.

Smart devices bring a whole new level of distractibility to work and home.  Individuals with and without ADHD are compulsively checking their phones and social media websites while at work or school.  This decreases overall productivity thus creating more unnecessary problems.

4 Anti-Distraction Apps:

1. Habitica:

Habitica motivates you to achieve your goals by “gamifying your life.”  If you’re unfamiliar with the term “gamification,” it is a design approach that applies game mechanics to otherwise non-game scenarios.  So in Habitica, you gamify your life by turning all your tasks (habits, dailies, and to-dos) into little monsters you have to conquer.  The better you are at this, the more you progress in the game.  For any slip-ups in real life, your character’s progress declines.

Features:

  • Offers in-game rewards and punishments to motivate you; can help you achieve your goals to “become healthy, hard-working, and happy”
  • Stay accountable by tracking and managing your Habits, Daily Goals, and To-Do List with Habitica’s easy-to-use mobile apps and web interface
  • You earn Gold by fighting monsters with other Habiticans – use the Gold to buy in-game or custom rewards like watching an episode of your favorite TV show

Click here to learn more about this app!

2. Onward:

“Onward brings together the latest data science and artificial intelligence to help you change your overuse behavior in an easy-to-use program that is customized to you.”  It is a new digital health subscription program that monitors ongoing user behavior and holds users accountable.

Features:

  • The website offers a free 7-question quiz to find out if you overuse your device.  (I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I got a 78% – which means my use is “likely interfering with my desired life and relationship goals in a significant way”)
  • The Basic version of the app offers automated tracking and reporting of problem behavior.  It also features easy and effective daily check-ins to reduce usage
  • The Pro version offers the following:
    • Customized behavior change program
    • Block unwanted sites and apps
    • Fight back against triggers
    • Personalized AI coaching
    • Proven coping skills

Click here to learn more!

3. Freedom:

Freedom is an app for iOS devices, Macs, and Windows computers that blocks distracting websites and apps.  It blocks distractions for you so you can get work done.  “Block what you want, when you want, and be more productive.”

Features:

  • Whether you use Mac, Windows, iPhone or iPad, Freedom can sync blocks across all of your devices
  • Start sessions on the fly or schedule your Freedom time in advance:
    • Plan out sessions that recur daily or weekly to make productivity a habit
  • Create unlimited lists of websites and apps that distract you
  • Free trial offers you 7 distraction-free blocking sessions on all of your devices; there’s no obligation and no credit card required

Click here to learn more!

4. Forest:

The last one on this list is one I began using over a year ago.  In sum, you select an amount of time you’d like (or rather need) to stay off your phone.  If you remain on that app, then you’ll grow a virtual tree.  If you leave the app, your tree will die.

Features:

  • Plant a virtual tree whenever you want to focus
    • Tree will grow over the period of time
    • The tree dies if you leave the app
    • Each tree symbolizes your focused time
  • The longer you go, the bigger the tree (and reward)
    • 10 minutes – 15 minutes = small bush
    • 20 minutes – 2 hours = larger tree
  • In addition to growing a virtual tree, you’re also rewarded with gold coins.  These gold coins can be used to upgrade your trees and more within the app.

Click here to learn more!