Howard Rheingold: 10 Online Tools for Better Focus

Blog Wisdom, Cultural Intelligence, IO Impotency
Howard Rheingold

A recent happiness study from Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert found that the more our minds wander, the less happy we are. Summing the research, the New York Times wrote, “Whatever people were doing, whether it was having sex or reading or shopping, they tended to be happier if they focused on the activity instead of thinking about something else.” In short, being mentally “present” and focused on the task at hand really does matter – quite a lot, in fact.

If only finding focus were so simple. With a tidal wave of information coming at us daily, focus is rapidly becoming the scarcest commodity of the 21st century. With this in mind, I’ve rounded up a handful of the best apps for fighting back against the constant distractions of our digital lives.

1. Self-Control – Block out distracting websites for a set amount of time.

2. TrackTime – Audit how you’re spending your time on your computer.

3. Concentrate – Maximize focus while shifting between different tasks.

4. Notational Velocity – Centralize and sync all of your scattered notes.

5. FocusBooster – Focus on single tasks for 25 minutes apiece.

6. Think – Limit your attention to a single application at a time.

7. FocusWriter – Create a distraction-free environment for writing.

8. Anti-Social – Block the social websites that are killing your focus.

9. StayFocusd – Curb the time you spend browsing time-wasting sites.

10. Time Out – Take regular breaks to keep your focus sharp.

Phi Beta Iota:  Read the original to see paragraphs for each of the above with excellent context.  Both above and in the original, links lead to an application for those who need imposed discipline.