World Executives Digest | Want to Improve Your Productivity? Easy Hack: Block Distracting Apps | Whether you’re working from home or in the office, staying productive throughout the day can be a challenge. Distractions are everywhere.
There is always a new tweet to read, a new thread to respond to, candy that needs to be crushed. When you can choose between compiling a new report or doing something fun to shut your brain down, is it really a choice?
You can improve your focus and productivity with one easy hack: block those distracting apps! While it might sound torturous, it’s simple solution to implement.
Improve Your Productivity
Did you know that 66% of Americans check their cell phones 160 times every day? If the same average American is getting a full eight hours of sleep, that means they’re checking their phone 10 times an hour. That’s once every six minutes!
It hurts to think the majority of us can’t stay focused for much more than five minutes at a time.
There are a few systems people use to balance their productivity and reward themselves with distractions. Some loosely promise themselves a 10 or 15-minute break after an hour of working. Others use a technique like Pomodoro.
Pomodoro allows for a five-minute break after every 25 minutes of work, and each cycle is a “pomodoro.” Every four pomodoros -one hour – awards a 30-minute break.
Some productivity apps even have a pomodoro timer for the strictest followers.
But systems like this only work when you have the self-control to follow them. If you’re still going to check Instagram regardless of the timer, then a time-based productivity system won’t ever work for you.
It’s time to bring in heavier weapons to improve your workday productivity. You need to eliminate distractions entirely.
Easy Hack: Block Distracting Apps
Maybe it seems like cheap advice more than an “easy hack”, but blocking distracting apps really works, and the reason it works is that you can’t unblock them. Let’s explain.
Need an app blocked? There are a lot of app blockers for every system: iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Windows. And most of them have similar functionality.
How Do App Blockers Work?
The best app blockers have three major functions: choose which apps to block, use full permissions to prevent the app from opening, and set the lockdown on a timer.
Regarding the first function, some apps don’t do this! Instead, they attempt to lock down your device and completely prevent you from using it.
While some might like this, it’s also a terrible method in practice. What if you need your device at some point? To freeze all of your phone’s functions just to keep you off Facebook is too crippling – you want to choose which apps get blocked.
Using full permissions is critical too. If an app blocker only works when it is running, you can close the app. When you can acknowledge your lack of self-control, turning off the blocker shouldn’t be easy.
With full permissions, apps get blocked on a deeper level in the operating system and stay blocked whether or not the blocker is running.
This is where a timer is important, too. Set it for a few minutes, an hour, the entire day – it doesn’t matter. As long as you know you can handcuff yourself, and know when the cuffs come off, you’ll give yourself time to focus.
Whether on desktop or mobile, a fourth significant feature is the ability to block websites, too. What difference does it make to block Facebook if you can log in from the browser, right?
Before You Download an App Blocker
Before you download anything, take an inventory of your bad habits and biggest distractions. There’s no point in blocking anything if you’re not sure what to block to begin with.
Taking an inventory of your distractions can be as simple as keeping a running list. What do you check most frequently during your workday instead of doing your work?
If you want a more granular, data-driven view, check which apps you use most directly on your phone. You can see screen time usage on your iPhone as well as on Android phones.
There are a range of apps and software that’ll let you track your usage as well.
Use these lists to choose which apps you need to block while allowing yourself access to certain apps that you need.
Consider leaving one app unblocked to periodically reward yourself too (if you have enough self-control).
More Than Productivity
Consider blocking apps on your smartphone and computer for reasons beyond productivity, too. Blocking apps will not only help you focus but improve your mental health overall.
Studies show that increased social media use accounts for an uptick in anxiety and depression among its users. Frequent users also report a lower self-esteem, poor sleep habits, and of course inattention.
Because what is really happening when we scroll through these endless feeds? We’re flooded with false realities, fake news, and a barrage of opinionated arguments.
We compare our lives to these situations, and few of them allow us to feel good. But the fear of missing out keeps us latched to these apps and forums.
However, studies also show that reducing the amount of time you use social media apps – by as little as 10 minutes a day – improves all of these negative factors and views.
The result is better sleep, less anxiety, and improved self-esteem.
A simple app blocker can improve your productivity and your daily life? It seems almost too good to be true! But this easy hack shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The effects of improved productivity and mental health can’t be known until they’re experienced. Just make sure you get the right blocker with the right feature set.
Did you find this article useful? Then be sure to keep reading our site for more productivity tips.