5 Good Apps That Can Help You Focus While Working From Home

By Mark Ching
There are too many distractions while working from home. Can we use technology to get past them?

It is a given that it is hard to focus on work now that we are all working from home. There are too many distractions. You might be living in a small house, and have to share the space with members of the family who have other activities. There’s also day-to-day tasks that you have to accomplish during your preferred work hours. And of course, we’re living in a pandemic; that itself is already a distraction.

Fortunately, there are apps that can help you keep focused on your work activities. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Forest

Forest’s premise is simple. Whenever you want to focus on an activity, you just plant a tree in the app and it will activate a timer. While the tree is growing, you are not allowed to change the screen of your app or else the tree will die.

Once the timer is up, your tree will be fully grown and it will be added to a mini-forest, where you can view all your trees. Eventually, you’ll be amazed how many trees you have grown over time.

Successfully growing trees will also let you earn coins that allow you to purchase other types of trees. Gardening fans will be delighted to find some adorable trees in the store.

Use Forest if you want to stop yourself from using apps or playing games on your phone during work hours.

2. RescueTime

Ever found yourself in a situation where the day is already ending but you haven’t spent it productively so you wonder where you spent all your time? RescueTime can help.

RescueTime is a time-management tool that monitors how you are spending your time. Just install the app on your phone and it will tally how you use your phone. At the end of the day, it will give you a graph that breaks down your activities, so that you know how to improve.

3. Habitica

Is gaming your biggest distraction? Why not bring it to work?

Habitica lets you gamify your work. In this app, you play an RPG character whose quests are based on your real life activities. Just input your day-to-day tasks on the app. Then if you mark each one as completed, you will earn coins that lets you purchase rewards.

What are the rewards? That’s all on you, too. For example, you may input a reward where you can eat a bowl of ice cream if you earn 60 coins. Or what if you are allowed to play a Nintendo Switch game for an hour in exchange for 100 coins? That’s a sure way to make you finish your tasks, isn’t it?

4. Lo-Fi Music

Scientific studies have shown that low fidelity (lo-fi) music aid in better concentration during work or study. This is because the sounds in this type of music stimulate the cerebrum, the part of the brain for reasoning, problem-solving and learning.

Lo-Fi Music is one app that can serve you free lo-fi music. Just pick a type of ambiance, set a timer, and play the music. Use it often to get a spike in productivity.

5. Duolingo

Duolingo is not a productivity app, per se. It is a learning app that allows you to learn a new language slowly, via an interface that’s like a game. A ton of languages is included, including Spanish, French, Japanese, Navajo or even fictional ones like Klingon.

You should try to use Duolingo to channel your distraction. If you like playing games on your phone to take breaks, why not play on Duolingo instead? That way, you will still be doing something useful even during the times that you are taking a break from working.

Not before long, you won’t need subtitles while watching your favorite KDrama.

Are there any other apps that you use to help you focus? Tell us on Facebook!

Mark Ching is the Marketing and Design Head of iRipple. He previously worked in various roles in Imonggo for 10 years, starting as a customer support officer then later as a product manager.

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