How much does an interruption cost you? – Seven apps that will force you to focus

This week I’ve written approximately 60,000 words – blog posts, auto-responders, company descriptions, website copy, social media posts, video scripts, eBooks and more. To make matters worse,  I had to switch from copy in Spanish to copy in English and vice versa
Don’t ask me how I’ve done it. It all feels like a blur.

One thing is for sure. It’s damn hard.

No, I’m not talking about the writing. I love it!

What drives me insane is how every five minutes my whole body begins an orchestrated attempt at surfing on the Net without asking for my permission.

It just goes ahead and does it.

My hand automatically wonders to a social media page or another, or somehow I get this urge to search for the latest in MH370, or for one of Tony Abbott’s latest blunders or for a post on adorable talking dogs.

So to get through the 60,000 words I had to submit this week, I had to pull out all an arsenal of tools to prevent myself from getting distracted. I thought you might find them useful as well, whatever your endeavours.

Obtract ^( is an extremely clever app that helps you identify your main distractions. When your mind craves them and wants to access them, Obstact creates complicated intellectual obstacles to access them. The only problem is that for those who love intellectual and math tasks, it can become a new form of procrastination!

Freedom ^( online distractions kill your productivity, Freedom could be the best 10 dollars you’ll ever spend.

Selfcontrol ^(, a free and open-source application for Mac OS X (10.5 or above) that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click “Start.” Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites–even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

Cold Turkey ^(, an app that will temporarily block you off of social media sites, addicting websites, games and even programs!

Unstuck ^(, is a free app for iPad owners, with a very interesting concept, which helps you to figure out HOW you procrastinate and what exactly you do to avoid doing tasks. The app helps to figure out what type of procrastinator you are and suggests ways to deal with it.

MeeTimer is an add-on for the Firefox browser and is a perfect app for self-conscious people. It doesn’t block anything, but instead just calculates the time that you spent on every single website throughout the day and gives you all the statistics, including percentages of your time spent on specific websites. It is designed to make you feel guilty about all the wasted time on the “wrong” tasks.

Anti-Social ^( is a program which will block all social websites. It’s quite nasty – it only lets you bring them back if you reboot your computer.

Stop Disctrations ^( is a simple app for Windows that just blocks your worst enemies! An alternative app, which runs on Google Chrome, is called Procrastinator ^(

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