apps to focus
Distractions can be a real pain when you're trying to hit that assignment deadline. These apps may just be the solution you need to be as focused as this guy. Source: Ed Jones/AFP

It’s 2020, so there’s an app for everything. Apps to sleep. Apps to remember. And even if they seem ironic by virtue of existence – apps to focus.

If you are one of the many home-bound university students right now, you’ll have realised that studying at home isn’t as easy as it sounds. Distractions are everywhere, and extra tempting when it’s procrastination o’clock. 

Do yourself a favour. Delete those outdated games off your phone to make space for these five apps to focus, buckle down and get productive at home.

An Indonesian student takes part on an online class from home by using her laptop and smartphone to chat with teachers for the next two weeks in Jakarta on March 17, 2020, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Source: Bay Ismoyo/AFP

Forest – Your reward? Saving the trees

The premise is simple – every time you begin to focus, you plant a seed. This seed will grow into a tree for as long as you stay on the app and resist the temptation to use your phone. If you keep that focus up, you’ll eventually have your very own virtual forest. 

What’s better is that this reward-based model translates to actual change. You can earn virtual coins for focusing, then use them to plant trees through “Trees for the Future,” Forest’s not-for-profit partner. 

apps to focus

Did you know the world lost 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometers) of forest between 1990 and 2016? Source: Raul Arboleda/AFP

StudyBlue – Mobile flashcards

It is harder to practise collaborative learning when you’re stuck at home – unless, of course, there’s an app for that.

Enter StudyBlue, a crowdsourced study library with over 400 million flashcards, notes, and study guides. You can make your own flashcards on your phone and share them with classmates, save your classmates’ notes, track your study progress, and create custom quizzes for each other. 

apps to focus

In global health pandemics, continue studying with your mates but best to avoid sitting this close. Source: Nicholas Asfouri/AFP

Plus, having it on your phone means you can use this digital learning tool anytime, anywhere. 

Focus To-Do – Olympic-level organisation

Let’s be honest, being productive at home can be challenging. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, a little organisation can go a long way.

Focus To-Do allows you to create lists for different areas of your life, which can be synced across all your devices – even Apple Watch!

In this way, the app helps you plan your day and improve time management to clear that list. On top of that, there’s a built-in Pomodoro timer to help you focus in short windows.

apps to focus

Your phone can also be a source of distraction. Source: Tony Karumba/AFP

Freedom – Control your distractions

Self-discipline may well be your greatest challenge when studying from home. Thankfully on multi-platform app Freedom, you can choose and schedule what distracting apps to block at certain times.

That way, you won’t be constantly checking your phone when you sit to write that paper or revise for an exam. There will no temptation to scroll Instagram because your friend sent a meme, and your risk of falling into a Reddit rabbit hole would be postponed until a more suitable time. – Optimise your soundscape

Your environment contributes to how well you focus. Sounds and smells can influence your mental state. That’s the driving principle behind, which allows you to customise your background music to suit activity level.

apps to focus

Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that can help you focus. And smells great. Source: Saul Loeb/AFP

Whether you need to get productive, relaxed, or to bed, this app curates “functional music” to encourage what the creators call “strong neural phase-locking”. This means your brain can make new, varied connections more often based on the type of music you listen to.

Take advantage of these apps to focus and transform your study-from-home life now.

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