Two Awesome Apps To Limit Distractions On The Computer


The Apple Computer is a wonderful device, but it is designed to distract all of us with its huge list of interesting and entertaining options.

There is hope and it comes in the form of two different applications; one of which is totally free.  It also comes in the form of technique called the Pomodoro method.  Essentially you work in sprints of about 20 minutes, then give yourself a break.

Self Control Apps

Self Control by Steve

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 3.48.42 PMThis fantastic app (see more here) is a simple timer that users start at the beginning of their sprint.  You can set it for 15 mins to a full day.   The app has two options: blacklist and whitelist.

The blacklist asks you to put in the sites you want to block. The app has a handy list you can import if you want as well.  For example, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The whitelist means EVERYTHING is blocked but the sites you say should NOT be blocked.   This is my personal favorite for students.

The beauty of the app is once it is turned on and the start button pushed, it can’t be turned off until the timer expires.  The other beauty is that it is student controlled.  Hooray!  They are teaching themselves good habits.  A simple blocking program that is always on is simply an invitation to hack until the program is defeated.

Download it for free now!

ConcentrateScreen Shot 2014-11-10 at 3.48.28 PM

While not as simple as Self Control,  Concentrate has its upside.   This program allows you to not just block specific websites, but also to block apps.  No more playing Call of Duty during class with this one.  This app is not free, but comes with a 60 hour test trial.  Plenty of time to see if you like it.

While Concentrate is turned on, a timer shows how long it has been on.  Students can turn it on and off at will, but the counter will restart each time.  A teacher or parent can check to see if they have restarted it.


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