This is the software everyone should have on their computer. I’m a firm believer that precommitment is the best method to avoid distractions (worth a read) and Focus does so amazingly with several functions that no other software offer today.
Here are some of the features:
- Block distracting software such as your RSS reader and mail client.
- Block distracting websites such as news and social media.
- Block specific URLs so you can access the rest of the website!
- Make use of the built in Pomodoro Technique and set a timer for n minutes.
- Optional hardcore mode so you can’t disable the block during the countdown.
I’ve used similar software in the past and began a few years ago with SelfControl which is great for blocking websites and offers a built in hardcore mode but it doesn’t block distracting software so I still ended up checking my mail every other minute. Then I stumbled upon Concentrate which blocks both but you can disable it just by closing the app which kind of made it pointless. When they announced that they were going to end development I continued my search and finally stumbled upon Focus which offers all of it.
To make full use of the software I highly recommend you to combine it with a time tracking tool such as RescueTime. A few minutes here and there quickly adds up even though you “only read the headlines”. Maybe you block the distracting websites during office hours or maybe you turn your computer into a productivity device and do all entertainment on your iPad.