Concentration is tough and when you have a billion-and-one distractions at your arsenal and sometimes it’s hard to sit down and focus on just one thing. You can get distracting technology back on your side with a few neat apps to boost your attention and concentration.
Great for: Blocking out noise
Relax Melodies is an app with 52 ambient sounds at your disposal. Sounds range from your standard rain and ocean waves to vacuum cleaners, cat purring, and (apparently) the sounds of Jupiter. Who knew Jupiter was so soothing? The app is mainly built for relaxation, but the variety of white noise makes it great at blocking out distracting sounds while you work.
On the relaxing side of things, it also has guided meditation provided by a soft voice. Some sounds are available for purchase, but you’ll have plenty to start off with on its own.
Available for Android and iOS.
Great for: Creating a routine
The Pomodoro technique is a time-management method that gives you a consistent work routine to help you focus. The technique has you work in 25 minute intervals, called pomodoris, with quick breaks in between. After four pomodoris, you’re allowed a longer break.
The Pomodoro app works the same. You can make a list of tasks and set your pomodoris and break times.
You can upgrade to get rid of ads and sync between iDevices and Macs for $1.99 but if you don’t mind ads, the free edition works just fine.
Available on iOS, but Android has similar apps.
3. Forest: Stay Focused, Be Present
Great for: Phone addicts
For people like me who can’t put down their phones, Forest is a great way to keep yourself focused while you work. Whenever you want to work, set a timer and plant a tree. In the amount of time you set, from 30 minutes to 120 minutes, the tree will grow as you work. If you can’t resist temptation and leave the app, the tree dies.
It’s a dire incentive but it works. Who wants to kill baby trees, right? If you check the app itself, a message will tell you to put down your phone, get back to work or leave your poor tree alone. The more you plant, the bigger your virtual forest will be.
Available for Android and iOS for $0.99.