How your phone can improve your focus
There’s so much to distract our attention these days that it can be difficult to focus on the task at hand.
Whether you’re at work, trying to study, or aiming to have an uninterrupted family dinner, managing even a few minutes of undivided attention can prove challenging.
For the most part, your number one cause of distraction is probably your mobile phone.
From Facebook notifications to checking out the latest trending topics on Twitter, smartphones and the applications they run are designed to keep us coming back for more. We often simply can’t help ourselves.
A 2017 study by technology protection and support company Asurion revealed Americans check their phone every 12 minutes. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in 10 said they check their phone every four minutes which is 15 times an hour.
So, what can you do to combat the seduction of the smartphone? Short of binning your phone for an old-school device with no smart features, the answer could be installing yet another app – one that can help you take back control.
There are plenty of these apps to choose from, each doing their bit to limit your screen time, restrict app access and develop a healthier relationship with your phone. Below you’ll find a round-up of some of the most highly-regarded apps.
The Moment website tells users to put down their phone and get their life back. It sounds a bit strong, but for many, it’s likely to be closer to home than they want to believe.
The app tracks your use of your iPhone and iPad, producing a breakdown of which apps you’re using most. You can set daily limits and be notified when you exceed these limits.
The idea is to train yourself to use your phone less.
Flipd has a variety of features, from locking your phone for a set period to removing or blocking specific apps and games.
Most impressive is its functionality to set up schedules that match up to your daily routine. You might allow screen time on your morning commute, but limit app use during 9-5. You could also cut off access in the hour before you go to bed.
Leaderboard functionality makes it possible to compete with friends to see who has “Flipd Off” the most time.
Taking things one step further than most similar apps, Offtime enables you to restrict access to apps, and for chosen periods of time, you can also cut of communications such as calls, texts and notifications.
If being cut off completely creates too much anxiety, you can select people who will be excluded from the block.
With AppDetox you can see how much you’re using each app, then set custom rules for accessing them. Rules include specific times of the day, the number of launches, prolonged restrictions and the permanent blocking of an app.
If you break one of your rules, the app will remind you to take a break.
While the other apps focus on numbers, charts and that sort of thing, Forest blends in a kind of virtual pet mechanic - only the pet is a seed.
The idea is simple. When you want to knuckle down, open the Forest app and plant a seed. Over time, this seed will grow into a tree, but only when you resist using your phone for other things. Open Facebook and the like, and your tree will start to wither and eventually die.
The more willpower you have, the bigger your tree will grow, even unlocking new tree species which you can plant. For the competitive, you can share your forest and compete with friends.
Give one or more of these apps a try and let us know how you get on over at @dlg_digital.