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REI Tech

Productivity Boosting Software

focusHere’s a challenge: Can you read this entire post without getting distracted by emails, Facebook notifications, or the shiny little objects around you?

Humans have an attention span of a goldfish. It’s hard to stay fully focused and committed to your work when you’re so easily distracted.

It happens to all of us. No exceptions. Think about this: It’s a Monday. You wake up full of energy, ready to:

  • Tackle emails
  • Run errands
  • Follow up on leads
  • Attend meetings, and
  • Do all the paperwork.

You sit down in front of your computer, swearing you’ll be productive.

Eight hours later, you’ve only checked your email, updated your Facebook status, and took a Buzzfeed quiz to find out what type of bread you are. Meanwhile, pending errands and to-dos are piling up.

Does this sound too familiar to you? You’re not alone. In today’s world the distractions are everywhere.

If only there was a software can block the distractions

Staying Focused with StayFocusd

StayFocusd is a productivity extension made for Google Chrome to help its users stay focused and get more work done. This software blocks and restricts the amount of time you spend on a certain website. A certain time is allotted for every website. Once the time’s up, you won’t be able to access it for the rest of the day.

Easy to Install

Since it’s an extension for Google Chrome, it’s very easy to install. It also won’t take up a lot of space on your PC.

The difference between StayFocusd and other website-blockers is that StayFocusd doesn’t totally block the time-wasting websites. It lets you set a time for how long you can access a website.

Set Your Own Terms

Let’s say you don’t want to spend more than an hour on Facebook.  You type that into StayFocusd on Chrome. After an hour, Facebook will become inaccessible for the rest of the day. Leaving you helpless and faced with Facebook withdrawal symptoms.

You can do this with any website you want – Twitter, Instagram, Buzzfeed, YouTube – and all other time-wasting websites. All you have to do is to type the website and time into the StayFocusd extension Then the software will restrict you when you reach the time limit.

A countdown of the clock lets you see how much time you have left on a restricted website. It’s also smart enough that when you leave a window or tab open, the clock automatically pauses to cut you some slack.

The websites you open on your computer are color-coded. StayFocusd’s icon changes color depending on the website you’ve opened. Green means you can use this website anytime, the red ones are the blocked websites, and the blue ones are websites that aren’t in the system.

This is helpful for me because if I unknowingly open a time-wasting website, StayFocusd reminds me to log it into the system when I see the blue icon.

Another special feature is that StayFocusd not only lets you block websites and applications, it can be more specific as well. You can block

  • Subdomains
  • Games
  • Pictures
  • Videos, and the like

Therefore, you can block specific items without having to block the entire website.

The Nuclear Option and Challenge Test

The creators of StayFocusd know that it’s hard to change old habits. Sometimes, we’re going to relapse. So, the creators cooked up a challenge for us.

The Nuclear Option

Activating the Nuclear Option means that StayFocusd will ‘nuke’ or restrict certain websites that you logged into the system. You can’t un-nuke it once you’ve done it but hey, no regrets because StayFocusd tells you the terms before you activate it.

Require Challenge

Thinking about changing your StayFocusd settings? Not so fast!

When you click on ‘Require Challenge’ StayFocusd presents you a difficult challenge before you can change your settings.

You’ll have to perfectly type a 70-word paragraph without making one mistake. Once you click backspace, you need to retype it all over again.

If you accidentally type a lower case letter instead of a capital one, guess what? You need to start all over again. Don’t outsmart StayFocusd by copying and pasting the paragraph. The software is sensitive to your keystrokes. It may not sound difficult. But the whole time you are typing, you’ll be thinking to yourself “I don’t really need to go back to that website”.

You can actually change the paragraph you need to type. You’re basically in control whether you want to make the challenge harder or easier.

StayFocusd only syncs with Google Chrome. But if you use Chrome, there’s no reason for you not to try StayFocusd. It gets the job done, it’s easy to use and install, plus it’s free.

Use Freedom To Go Beyond Google Chrome

If you want the same kind of functionality on other browsers, try the Freedom software.  Freedom partnered with StayFocusd recently. You’ll see it if you go to the Stayfocusd website instead of just downloading the app. Freedom will give you similar distraction-blocking technology, but can do it for all sorts of applications like email, Slack, and Steam.

Of course as they say, “Freedom isn’t Free”. There are some costs involved. Not only are they pretty minimal, but you can also receive a 40% discount at checkout if you type “STAYFOCUSD” in as the discount code.

Anyone else have tips and tricks to ‘Stay Focused’? Please let us know in the comments below.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

List down all factors that contribute to your procrastination. It really helps when you write down all time-wasters. Then find ways to reduce or eliminate.

Stop trying to multitask. If you think multitasking does the trick, think again. Focusing on one task at a time is much more productive.

Give importance to self-care. Self-care isn’t a reward; it’s a necessity and a priority. You need to take care of yourself before you can do anything efficiently.

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