Life Hacks, Work, Now + Beyond

These 6 computer extensions can help you stay focused while doing work

The web is full of distractions, and these extensions are here to help.

From an ever constant news cycle to funny animal videos, even the most diligent people can find themselves distracted on the internet when they are trying to do work. I, for one, am very guilty of getting distracted by Matt Nelson’s Thoughts of Dog Twitter account.

Computer extensions can be a valid tool to help minimize distractions. Their capabilities range from only allowing you to access sites for a certain number of hours each day, not access websites within certain hours, or giving you a breakdown on how many hours you spend on a website each day. Here are six computer extensions that can help you stay focused, most which are available on Google Chrome.

1) StayFocsd

StayFocsd logo

StayFocsd allows users to limit the amount of time that they spend on time-wasting website through the use of a timer, which then blocks the website after a certain amount of time, which the user chooses. This Google Chrome extension also allows you to pick which days that you want to limit the amount of time on certain sites. For example, if I want Saturday to be my cheat day, I would put that I want this extension to only be active Sunday through Friday.

2) Forest

Forest logo

Forest is also a game. Users have to work for 25 minutes if they want to complete the task of planting a tree. This is helpful if you need to write an essay or any kind of report. If you manage to work for 25 minutes, you grow trees. If you stray and go on social media, you can kill the tree. Users can also download Forest onto their smartphone.

3) Focus Mode

Focus Mode logo

Focus Mode is a Google Chrome extension which blocks standard social media websites and lets you put in custom websites. One really nice thing about this extension is that the creator lists their personal email address to encourage users to contact them if they run into any problems with this extension.

4) Strict Workflow

Strict Workflow logo

Strict Workflow works in 30-minute intervals. When activated, a user’s access to distracting websites is limited for 25 minutes to allow them to focus on work, and then they are allowed access to all sites for five minutes. There is a list of websites which are blocked, but users are also allowed to add their own.

5) Block Site

An advertisement used for Block Site

Block Site has a function called Work Mode, which allows users to work for 25 minutes and then take five-minute breaks. Similar to other extensions, Block Site is available on Google Chrome, FireFox and Google Play.

6) timeStats

A graph of what timeStats feedback could look like.

Unlike the rest of these extensions, timeStats does not actually prevent you from accessing social media and other time-wasting websites. Instead, it collects data on how much time that you spend on each website, which a user can access at the end of the day. I don’t want to know how many hours that I spend on social media each day, but this would probably serve as a wake up call.

Now, it is time to get to work! Hopefully, you will find at least one of these extensions to be helpful.