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  • Writer's pictureJessica

Tools and Apps that Help Me Stay Focused

an open laptop and phone next to a coffee mug and plant

I usually don't have attention span issues. (Especially when it comes to reading; I can block out the world around me to finish a book.)

Sometimes though, I'll need a little productivity boost while I'm writing. I love my work, but sometimes the temptation to check my email, browse YouTube and Reddit, and scroll through Instagram is too high.

Sound familiar? Take advantage of these apps and tools that help you focus on your work.

Use Noisli to add background noise

If you work from home like me, sometimes it's a little too quiet and your mind starts wandering. With Noisli, you can choose from background sounds like rain falling, a busy coffee shop, white noise, thunderstorms, and more. You can mix and match different sounds to create your own symphony of background noises, or choose one of Noisli's presets for productivity. My favorite combo is campfire + leaves rustling + outdoors at night. Perfection.

Or play instrumental music like lofi jazz/hip hop mixes

This is not new, but something I've just recently discovered. Listening to music with lyrics distracts me--I have to sing along--so I prefer to listen to instrumental playlists. I linked my favorite one, which has a remix of "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There are so many of these videos on YouTube, so find one (or several) you like and make your own playlist!

*Pro tip from my husband: Play an instrumental playlist in one browser tab, and Noisli's falling rain sounds in another. It's so cozy.

Block distracting websites with StayFocusd or Freedom

Block those time-sucking websites so you can limit distractions and get to work. StayFocusd is a Chrome extension , while Freedom works on Mac and Windows. You'll probably be tempted to turn these off or to unblock a site. Be strong.

Control your computer's lighting with f.lux

What I love about f.lux is that it's so easy to use. After you download it, you'll choose settings like where you live and when you typically wake. That's it. It'll adapt your computer's display to the time of day where you are. As the sun sets, your display will slowly dim to a warm yellow, signaling that you should probably get off your computer. You can play around with the color settings and effects, but its automatic functions are great on their own.

Have you tried these tools to help you focus? Is there another app or tool that you swear by? Comment and let me know!

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