- Having a million tabs open certainly doesn’t help you focus. xTab closes a tab when you open a new one, based on your maximum tab setting. Limit yourself to 10 tabs, or 2, or go crazy and only allow yourself to have 1 tab open, so that you can really focus while you’re in your browser.
- Pomodoro is Italian for “Tomato” so of course it is used for a term of a 25 minute work period followed by a 5 minute period of whatever else (get up to pee, look at Imgur for a minute, etc). There are tons of these apps, but Pomodoro One is for Mac, and the one I use (Sorry PC and linux people, I keep suggesting Mac apps)
- I’ve put this one in here before, but it’s great to recommend again. It uses auditory neuroscience to compose ambient / electronic type music that gets your brain in gear to focus better. Sounds fishy but it feels like it works to me. I use it when doing web design.
- A chrome plugin that blocks distracting sites at certain times. For example, I block Reddit and Facebook from 7am to 5pm on weekdays. If I really want to check one of those sites, I can always open it in an Incognito tab, but at least then I know I’m not “supposed to” be wasting my time on those sites.
- An app for Mac that blocks distracting sites, but in a way so that there’s no getting around it. At all. You can delete the app or restart your computer, it doesn’t matter. You’ll have to wait for the timer to count down. I tend to run this for 2 or 3 hours at a time, blocking all my email as well as Facebook and the usual distracting stuff.
- Email gets pretty annoying, and distracting. Sanebox is nice because it will sort your email as it comes in, and put newsletter type stuff in “Sane News” folder, and things that don’t seem really important in “Sane Later”, which keeps you from having as many things popping in your inbox. ($15 discount through this link if you choose to sign up)
- I told someone recently that I listen to static on headphones when I’m working somewhere, and he thought I was kind of nuts at first, then realized how it would help, as it allows you to focus more because you can’t understand what coffee shop idiots or your coworkers are saying, and sort of mutes background music and noise. I’m a fan of “brown noise” myself.
A Soft Murmur
- If you’re not into static and more a fan of cacophony, this site will be great for you, as it allows you to blend a bunch of different sounds into your own focus mix. Want to hear birds chirping while a rain storm provides a backdrop to your crackling fire? No problem.