5 Computer Applications to Boost Your Productivity

22 Jan 2019 - Vivian Hir

With more and more content online, it is easier for one to be distracted easily by cute cat videos and end up watching other random videos for 2 hours. But don't lose hope. I will mention some useful applications on your computer that can boost your productivity. I hope that some of these applications/extensions are new to you and can help you. After using these applications, I am more focused and usually check distracting activities once a day during the weekdays. On the weekends, I might cheat and check distracting websites more than I should be, but my relationship with the computer definitely has improved.

  1. StayFocusd: This chrome extension is a good starter. After using the maximum amount of time allowed per day for the blocked sites, StayFocusd blocks them. There is also a nuclear option, which can block every single website or all websites except for allowed ones. The problem with StayFocusd is that it only works on Google Chrome, and if you still feel tempted to watch YouTube, you can technically go on other browsers.
  2. Cold Turkey: This app helps you block websites on ALL browsers. You can make multiple lists if some websites should be blocked for a different length of time, such as for a month or even an entire year. The premium version can block distracting applications, such as video games or email.
  3. Time Tracker: This tracks the amount of time you spend on Google Chrome. It is a good reminder of how much time you spend on a website. When pressed, the extension organizes the websites from most time consuming to least time-consuming. Unfortunately, it can't track time spent on applications or other browsers.
  4. Rescue Time: Personally, Time Tracker isn't really necessary if you install Rescue Time. What Rescue Time does well is that it gives weekly reports and a productivity rating based on the type of websites and applications you use the most frequently. They have categories for the websites and applications based on how productive they are. You can change the categories for the websites/applications if you think it is more productive/distracting than they automatically set it to be.
  5. Remove Recommendations YouTube VK Facebook: I wouldn't say I use this the most, but it has made me less addicted to YouTube. Before, I would watch more YouTube videos because of the recommendations on the homepage and on the side of the main video. This extension can also hide comments, playlists, and trending videos. By hiding recommendations, I use YouTube differently compared to before.

A good questions you may have is "Thanks for those applications, but what if I am tempted to go on the phone?" I honestly can't help you there, but don't worry! On the iPhone, you can go to settings and restrict the websites you don't want and someone can make up a password that you don't know. That will be another article to talk about phones!

Vivian Hir is a high school student who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her blogs can be found here. Constructive feedback is appreciated.