The internet is a wild and wonderful place. It’s also a huge distraction. I could easily spend hours a day reading and researching and following rabbit trails. However, I have work to do and I need to focus. I have recently discovered a productivity hack that is a huge help for me in achieving that focus.
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Forest: A Productivity Hack
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day, The Productive Woman, and Laura McClellan (podcast host) was interviewing Maria Dismondy . One of the questions she usually asks during interviews is what tools they use to stay productive. Maria Dismondy said she uses the Forest app and as she described it I knew this was right up my alley.
“Have you ever been addicted to your phone and just cannot put it down? Forest provides an interesting solution to beat your phone addiction. You can plant a seed in Forest. In the following time, this seed will gradually grow into a tree. However, if you cannot resist the temptation and leave this app to check Facebook or play a game, your tree will wither away. With this interesting mechanism, the sense of achievement and responsibility will drive our users to stay away from their phone with no pain.”
• A self-motivated and interesting way to help you beat phone addiction
• Stay focused and get more things done
• Turn your focused time into a lovely forest
• Manage your own tags and view the detailed statistics about how you allocate your time
• Compete with friends and users around the world
• Earn reward and unlock more tree species
• Track your focused time in Health App
• Plant real trees on the Earth and protect our environment
You may not know this about me but I consider myself a “tree hugger”. In fact, this is a picture of my personalized license plate:
Please ignore the tree fluff all over the car. It rained this morning!
The idea that by staying focused I can actually help plant real trees is highly motivating to me. Here’s how it works:
You select the amount of time you want to focus on a task (or simply avoid using your phone) and then get busy. If you try to use your phone for any other purpose you get a reminder but if you persist, your growing tree shrivels up and dies. Very simple.
So far I’ve just been using it while working but I want to begin using it during leisure times to help break the habit of taking “just a peek” at Facebook or email or any number of other phone apps. I’m trying to make more time for reading these days – real books, not just articles on my phone – and I think the Forest app will be helpful for that, as well.
What about you? Does this sound like something that would motivate you? Do you have other methods that help keep you focused? Or is your phone (or computer) not really a distraction for you? If that’s the case, you are my hero and perhaps you’ll teach me your ways, oh wise one. Leave me a comment and we’ll discuss.
Scroll down for a few productivity articles and books.