Habits and Minimizing Distractions

Habits

Habit Forge Looking to form a new habit? Experts say it takes 21 days to do so. Habit Forge enables you to enter a task that you would like to do consistently and will send you an email every day asking you if you did and offering reminders when you want them.

Habit Maker Habit Breaker Alternatively, there may be a habit that you're trying to break. This app will track your goals towards making or breaking a habit and generate charts to show your progress.

Way Of Life This habit-building app can help you identify and track your habits with charts and notes, which you can share with others helping you on the "good habit-building" path.

Minimizing Distractions

Anti-Social – Block the social websites that are killing your focus.  Anti-Social is like a light version of full-scale Internet-blocker Freedom. Rather than blocking the Internet in its entirety, Anti-Social automatically blocks all of the known timesinks for a set period of time. Sites that can be set as temporarily off-limits include Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Digg, Reddit, YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, and all standard web email programs. It’s not that different from Self-Control (see below), except that it comes pre-equipped with a blacklist (which you can add to). You can end your Internet abstinence and turn Anti-Social off by rebooting your computer. For Macs and PCs.

Evernote Clearly - Ever feel distracted by having too many items on your screen? When you download Evernote Clearly in Google Chrome or Firefox, you can eliminate from the screen all but that which you need to read and focus on.

FocusWriter blocks everything on your screen except for the words you type on a simple grey background – all menus (date, timer, dock, etc) are tucked away until rollover. It has the usual rich text editor features, such as spellcheck and word count. For Macs and PCs.

Self-Control – Block out distracting websites for a set amount of time. If you find yourself checking Facebook when you should be writing a paper, Self-Control may be the app you need. Set it for 4 hours, for instance, and your browser will behave as if it’s offline for that period of time. No amount of browser restarts or computer reboots will stop it. Before you have heart palpitations, know that you can whitelist or blacklist certain sites. So, rather than completely disabling the entire Internet, you can selectively decide which sites are OK, or not OK, to visit during your focus period. For Macs only. PC users can try Freedom, a similar app. (Review courtesy of Jocelyn K. Glei )

StayFocusd – Curb the time you spend browsing time-wasting sites.  This extension, for users of Google’s Chrome browser, works in the reverse manner to Anti-Social or Self-Control. Rather than setting a period of time for which you CANNOT use the Internet, it allows you to set a period of time to indulge in time-wasting sites. Only want to give yourself 60 minutes a day for Twitter, Googling, and updating your Facebook page? This is your app. Rather like when you were a kid and only allowed to watch 2 hours of TV a day. For Firefox users, LeechBlock performs a similar function. For Macs and PCs.