Technology has improved our lives in so many ways, but one of the major downsides to it is when it overloads us and we find ourselves drowning in distractions. Counter intuitively, one of the best ways to get around the modern day problem of procrastination is with apps. There are plenty of ways to sharpen your focus, and one of the best is by blocking websites. By setting them up on your browser, or even on your own servers, you can cut out the distractions and get to work — or at least give yourself one less excuse.
1. Blocksite Chrome Extension — when you know you have no excuse
Who said website blockers have to be serious? Blocksite was created with a sense of humor, and you’ll get a mocking image when you try to access your banned list of websites. Aside from that, it follows the basic rules of its industry — choose your websites, schedule your focus time and start getting productive. With the Premium version, you can spread this from your Chrome desktop browser to all of your devices, as well as getting insights back.
2. Self-Control — absolutely brutal, open-source software
The title says it all really. With Self-Control, you choose your websites and your focus time, and off you go. It’s a pretty tough cookie. Most website blockers have a failsafe, but even if you turn your laptop off, Self-Control isn’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, the app is only available for Mac, but it still makes the list because it is open source, so you can adjust it to have a personalized app. Just… don’t get too distracted editing it.
3. Freedom — become more productive, no matter the device
Many of the other pure website blockers for Chrome on this list are restricted to desktop format. Where Freedom beats them is in its cross-device capabilities. Set up the times and websites you want to restrict and you’re ready to go. Freedom is a paid app, which can put off a lot of users, but if you’re serious about your productivity, it just might be worth it.
4. FocusMe — blockers for companies
FocusMe are so confident in their ability to boost the productivity of teams that they justify their pricing through time and money saved. And that price is pretty high. As a company-focused website blocker, FocusMe gives you key analytics on how your workers spend their time, and identifies unproductive times of the day. For a real boost, FocusMe’s Force Mode shuts all websites down and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Let’s just hope you don’t use web-based documents.
5. Friday — tell everyone you’re focusing
Available as an app and as a Chrome extension, Friday helps nudge you in the right direction when you mindlessly drift off to your guilty pleasure websites. It comes with some cool extra features, such as a to-do list that gives you a constant reminder of what you really want to get done. You can also integrate it with Slack and Gmail, so everybody else will know you’re in focus mode.
6. Cold Turkey Blocker — get the job done
Cold Turkey Blocker allows you to turn your website blocker on and off manually, but if you switch up to Frozen Turkey mode, your computer itself will be blocked completely. Seriously — you turn it on and get a blank screen. This is ideal for workers who have offline work where their laptop becomes the distraction. Rather than being based on specific internet browsers, Cold Turkey deals with your whole system, which helps you stop finding convenient little loopholes — the specialty of any good procrastinator. If you like to break promises to yourself, this is a great paid option.
7. RescueTime — website blocker and time tracker
Sometimes it’s not the distractions that hold you back, it’s your over-optimistic deadlines. With RescueTime, you can not only block websites, but also track the amount of time you are actually working. Furthermore, it identifies what your biggest distractions are — something that you might not even be aware of in your day-to-day life. Once they are allocated a category out of productive, distracting, or very distracting, you quickly get an idea of your own capacities. At $12 per month, it is quite reasonably priced too.
8. Serene — one goal at a time
Serene takes a slightly different approach to other website blockers on this list. As you start the day, you give Serene one goal, and then break your day into separate sessions in a pomodoro-esque way. This is proven to help you achieve undisturbed deep work and prioritise the goals that matter most to you. One major drawback is that Serene is still only available on Mac, although reports show that the Windows app is on the way.
9. FocalFilter — keep things simple
If you’re looking for back-to-basics website blockers, there’s not much better than FocalFilter. It keeps things simple, but you can add unlimited websites to your list and set unlimited time durations for your focus time. There’s nothing too flashy about this — no analytics or cheeky comments from the developers — but it has one great feature for small companies. It’s free!
Bitrix24 — one centralized platform for all your apps
We need to ask ourselves, “does blocking websites increase productivity?” Website blockers aren’t a silver bullet that will immediately solve any problems you have had with concentration. For example, another cause that is very common are confusing interfaces that make us mentally switch off. Bitrix24 is a sleek tool that combines all of your business apps in one place, so you aren’t faced with 100 tabs sitting open. You get notifications for everything you need to and can automate smaller tasks which cuts down your workload so you can focus on the top jobs. With Gantt charts and Kanban boards, you can also streamline all your project management tasks in a cinch.
Get started with your productivity tools
Let’s be honest, there’s nobody out there with infallible concentration levels, and you’re probably aware of what your weaknesses are.
Website blockers are great to stop you procrastinating, but when it comes to actually getting work done, you need to have the right tools. Bitrix24 has everything you need and more to avoid distractions and cut out tasks that are better done by a machine. Get started with Bitrix24 today
and see how you can take your project management and productivity to the next level.