Got focus?

Four apps to help you stay on task while working

Forest: Stay Focused

Forest: Stay Focused

When it comes to studying and homework, we often have trouble focusing.

Our notifications on Twitter and Instagram are far more interesting than reviewing notes or reading a textbook. Other times a busy and loud working area plays a major role in preventing us from getting anything accomplished.

If you’re one of many students who has a difficult time placing your full attention on work outside of class, consider checking out these four apps.

Forest: Stay Focused is a great app to use to help you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your work. In the app, you plant a seed in a forest. For the next 30 minutes, the seed will gradually grow into a tree. If you leave the app to check social media or play a game, the cute, little tree will wither away. By watching your forest grow, you earn a sense of satisfaction with each achievement of 30 minutes of productive work. You can track your history and share your forest with friends.

You can also whitelist apps in case of emergencies so that leaving the app for another one won’t kill your tree.  The app provides a unique way to help beat your phone addiction while working. Forest: Stay Focused is available for $0.99 on the Apple App store and for free on Google play for Android devices.

For those who lean towards working on a computer more often, the SelfControl application is just for you. Available for Mac OS X or higher, the free app lets you block websites that tend to disturb your focus and distract you, such as Facebook, Tumblr, etc.

SelfControl is rather simple- download the application, set a period of time, add websites to your blacklist, and start. Until the time is over, you won’t be able to access any of your blacklisted websites, even if you restart your computer or delete the app.

For some people, music does just the trick to block out loud conversations and noises, but other times music becomes part of the distraction. SimplyNoise is a sound machine app that helps block out distractions while working.

The app features three different types of “color noises”- white noise, pink noise, and brown noise. The white noise contains sounds across all frequencies, so it is the most effective at blocking distractions since it covers the largest spectrum range. Pink noise is a blend of high and low frequencies that is great for keeping you alert, energized, and relaxed all at once. Brown noise uses lower sound frequencies and is excellent at aiding sleep. Color noise affects everyone differently, so try each noise out to find the best one for you.

The app also has a oscillation feature and a sleep timer. Related to SimplyNoise is SimplyRain, which plays a continuous rainstorm with the sound options of thunder and lightning to provide a more relaxing environment. Both apps are available for iPhones and Androids for $0.99, and each have a website as well. SimplyNoise LITE is also offered, which is a free version of the app that just has the white noise.

Coffivity is also an app that creates better surroundings to work in with the sounds of a coffee shop. Studies have shown that the ambient noises of a coffee shop make you more creative and help you work better. Without even leaving the comfort of your chair at home, you can have the same effect of heading over to Starbucks across the street. The app features three different audios to choose from that loop for your ideal environment. Coffivity is available for free on the Apple App store and Google Play.

There are many apps out there that can be beneficial towards students. These four apps are a great place to start for anyone hoping for a distraction-free work place. So download these apps today and finally successfully accomplish the work you need to finish.