Staying focused can be incredibly difficult in today’s day and age, especially because we’re constantly being bombarded with distractions. Whether it’s a message on Slack, a meeting request, an email inbox full of unanswered messages, or a pop-up ad for one of your favorite products, it’s safe to say there will never be a shortage of tempting distractions when you’re trying to get work done. Luckily, we’ve taken the time to round up 10 of the best tools to stay focused so you can say goodbye to distractions and hello to being super productive!
- What is a focus tool?
- Benefits of using focus tools
- 10 of the best focus tools to drive productivity
What is a focus tool?
Focus tools are resources often used by individuals who are looking to increase focus and productivity. Often presented in the form of digital applications or online tools, focus tools are used to help users stay focused and avoid distractions. Digital focus tools include apps and browser extensions that block distracting websites, manage notifications, provide background sounds that help with concentration, or boost productivity through a variety of features and functions that streamline efficiency. The focus tool you choose will largely depend on your intent. Are you using a focus tool to block out notifications or limit your screen time? Or are you using focus tools to stay focused and on track by making the most out of your time and improving internal systems? No matter what your reason for using a focus tool is, there are tons of excellent focus tools that will help you enhance your concentration.
Benefits of using focus tools
Leveraging focus tools boasts several benefits, including greater capacity for deep work, increased attention and concentration, improved productivity and output, limited distractions that disrupt mental flow, and fewer wasted resources. By blocking distractions and creating a sense of urgency, focus tools can help you avoid interruptions and increase output. Not only does this lead to a greater sense of accomplishment, but it also reduces time wasted, which helps save the organization time and money.
While it’s important to leverage focus tools to enhance deep work, it’s also important to leverage focus tools during team meetings. For instance, you can save yourself and your teammates lots of time and energy by using unique tools like Fellow’s meeting automations or meeting timer. Leveraging Fellow as a focus tool to run your meetings will result in 16.6 fewer meetings a year and a total of $2.6K saved. Are you wasting thousands of dollars by hosting unproductive meetings? Check out Fellow’s meeting cost calculator to find out.
Run efficient meetings, come to a decision, and get back to work
Level up your meeting habits to boost engagement and productivity with a collaborative meeting agenda. Try a tool like Fellow!
10 of the best focus tools to drive productivity
Fellow is an all-encompassing meeting management platform that strives to help users drive engagement and productivity by building better meeting habits before, during, and after every meeting. Coined as your one-stop shop for meeting agendas, action items, and feedback, Fellow helps teams focus on what matters most. Instead of interrupting your teammates’ focus time, simply add an action item or talking point to your collaborative meeting agenda to address during your next check-in. Additionally, Fellow helps users run productive asynchronous meetings to cut down on meeting time while keeping everybody on the same page. Click here to learn more about how Fellow can help keep interruptions at bay.
f.lux adapts to your environment to enhance concentration and productivity by making your computer screen match your physical environment. This cross-platform computer program adjusts your display’s color temperature according to location and time of day, helping to reduce eye strain and increase productivity by letting you work later into the night and reducing stimulated wakefulness by minimizing the effect of blue light. When the sun sets, the software makes your computer look like your indoor lights; in the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.
If your computer screen is keeping you awake at night, this is the perfect tool to reduce eye strain during nighttime and ultimately improve your sleep pattern. It’s important to note that f.lux is a completely free download that works by making the lights in your computer display warmer at night to match your indoor lighting.
Used by over 2,500,000 people around the world, Freedom is a productivity hack for anyone looking to eliminate unwanted distractions. This app and website blocker for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome is a productivity tool that blocks access to distracting apps and websites while you’re trying to focus. To streamline productivity, simply specify which websites or notifications you wish to block when you’re carving out time for deep work.
In conjunction with blocking access to distracting apps and websites, Freedom also houses a timer to keep you on track and organized while you work. The best part about Freedom is having the ability to get started for free—no credit card required!
HazeOver is a concentration tool that supports you on your journey to focus and eradicate multitasking. Whether you’re being tempted by a Twitter window, a packed email inbox, chat messages, or an online shopping cart, HazeOver will help you block out these distractions so you can focus on what matters most. HazeOver works by helping you get rid of distractions and focus on your current task by automatically highlighting the front app window and dimming all background windows. This means you can spend less time getting distracted and managing multiple windows and more time getting work done.
If you’re interested in taking HazeOver beyond the free trial, this tool can be purchased for $7.99 USD. You can also show your support to the HazeOver team by providing an additional $10, paying $3 to buy a developer a coffee, or buying a team member a drink for $5.
Escape is a productivity tool that is an excellent resource for anyone looking to gain a more in-depth understanding of how their time is being spent. Escape is simply a utility that will run in the background and keep track of where your time is being spent. If you spent 1 hour a day on social media, that adds up to 45 working days a year. These types of insights are what you can expect to gain from Escape.
RescueTime is a fully automated time-tracking software that aims to measure your focus so you can learn more about what pulls you away from deep work. When you trigger a “Focus Session” in RescueTime, RescueTime will block the sites that negatively impact your focus. This means you can carve out time for deep work with minimal distractions or pesky temptations. At the end of your session, RescueTime will provide you with a breakdown that compares your average session time when using RescueTime to your regular workday. Test this tool out for free for two weeks or choose from one of many plans starting at just $6.50/month.
Headspace was started with the mission to improve the health and happiness of the world through science-based meditation and mindfulness tools. Used in 190 countries around the world by over 70 million members, Headspace makes it possible for users to increase focus and boost productivity by enhancing mental clarity through meditation.
Headspace is proven to reduce stress by 14% in just 10 days. It can also help you relax your mind in minutes, improve your focus, and get incredible sleep. Interested in giving it a try? Headspace has a variety of plans at different price points that cater to a realm of different audiences. Whether you’re a student, an educator, a teen, or a working professional eager to try Headspace for a month, there’s a plan for you.
Trello is a visual collaboration tool that empowers you and your teammates to manage projects, workflows, and tasks. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards make it easy for you to organize and prioritize your projects so you and your teammates can focus on short-term goals without getting sidetracked by less pressing tasks. No matter the project, workflow, or type of team, Trello aims to help you keep things organized so you can focus on what tasks matter most. Simply sign up, create a board, and you’re good to go.
Are you ready to keep projects organized, deadlines on track, and teammates focused and aligned with Trello? Trello offers a variety of plans at different price points so you can choose the plan that works best for you. Starting at $0/month for individuals or teams looking to organize any project and extending to $17.50/month for enterprises, Trello has a plan for everyone.
Backed by science, Brain.fm is a unique tool that helps you take your productivity to new heights with music that helps you focus. This company uses a patented AI engine to create music backed by scientific research to help you relax, focus, and sleep. With Brain.fm, you can get more done with less effort and unlock your best self on demand.
While traditional music is crafted to capture your attention, Brain.fm is designed to optimize your performance. Instead of making it difficult to think and get your work done, Brain.fm puts you in the headspace you need to be in to get work done. Before committing fully, you can experiment with the product using Brain.fm’s free trial. When you’re ready to commit, plans start at $6.99/month or $49.99/ year.
Forest is an app designed to help you stay focused by using the analogy of a forest. When you want to focus on a specific task, you plant a tree. The tree will grow while you focus on your work and leaving early will make your tree die. Staying focused and engaged will help turn your hard work into a luscious forest full of thriving greenery. Did we mention that this isn’t simply a virtual engagement hack but a real movement? The Forest team partners with a real tree-planting organization to plant real trees! When you spend virtual coins that are earned by staying focused and on track, the Forest team donates to their partner and creates planting orders.
Are you ready to implement these tools to stay focused?
Staying focused can be a huge challenge, which is why it’s important to take a proactive stance. Implementing one or more of the tools in this article will ensure you have the support necessary to take back your time and focus when it matters most.