We covered the basics on how to use a website blocker, but is it enough?
In school or at work, we know that our productivity and ability to concentrate are more compromised than ever before. Not only are all of our favorite websites only a click away, but we also have to deal with our favorite video games being right at our fingertips. Smartphones, tablets, and social media applications are disrupting the patterns of our society with distractions and addictions.
To give you an idea of just how large this issue looms over our future, consider the following facts:
Facts for businesses:
- The Manifest conducted a survey of 511 smartphone owners and concluded that 32% of respondents open any kind of app on their phone only 1-10 times per day total, but they are likely underreporting their behavior.
- A global outplacement agency reports that over a 17-week period, fantasy football leagues cost employers $14 billion in lost productivity.
Facts for students:
- The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 76% of teenagers use Instagram and 75% use Snapchat.
- 2,000 parents were surveyed by the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, and Tesco; they found that 77% of kids don’t get enough physical activity.
- A Norwegian study of 10,000 16- to 19-year-olds in 2015 reported that those using screens four or more hours per day are 50% more likely to lie awake for at least an hour before falling asleep.
Facts for health:
- Dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in our brain’s motivation and reward system, is released when we find new information or make a social contact. It’s highly addictive; the more that websites and apps trigger dopamine, the more our brains learn to crave another dose.
These statistics shed light on the bigger picture. They show us why, more than ever, we need to be able to block applications. Spending a lot of time on social media apps and games not only affect your work or study productivity; it also affects your well-being.
Here are three ways that an app blocker can help to improve your productivity and well-being.
Incentivize You To Stay Focused
When the dopamine craving hits, an app blocker will force you to stay focused on the task at hand. If you just push through that initial craving, then you’ll notice how easily you can keep pushing through the tasks. By hitting the Instagram button or opening candy crush, you’re actually making it harder on yourself to get back into the “work flow.” In fact, on average it takes 23 minutes to get back to a task after leaving it for a text message or social media break.
And when you find you really need a break, an app blocker will incentivize you to try new things to fill your time. An app blocker might motivate you to become more creative (maybe even adventurous) in filling up the blank spaces in your day.
Ten minutes a day of light stretching goes a long way towards shaping a lifetime of mental focus and health improvements. Instead of using your ten-minute work or study break to use an application, an app blocker might make you consider exercising.
Click here for a 7-minute “Yoga At Your Desk” video.
You can also try carrying a notebook and a pen in your purse. Pull it out when you want to write, draw, or just fold the paper into a new shape. This way, you still get your break but you’re keeping your brain stimulated, making the switch back to work mode smoother.
Increase Your Productivity By Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Imagine, it’s nine p.m. and you’re not tired enough to fall asleep. What do you do? Grab your phone and check on your fantasy football league or your friend’s latest Snapchat?
This decision can affect your sleep for the entire night and even your energy levels for the following day. In fact, research from Michigan State University has found that people who use their phone after 9 p.m. are sleepier and less engaged at work.
If you set a timer for 9 p.m. on your app blocker, then the likelihood of grabbing your phone before bedtime is decreased. As a result, you might choose activities that relax the brain, like reading a book, drawing, or drinking a cup of tea. Your sleep will begin to improve, and so will your energy levels during the day.
Improve Your Mental Health
According to the American Psychological Association, 43% of Americans are classified as ‘obsessive checkers.’ Obsessive (or constant) checkers compulsively check their email, social media, and other parts of their phone throughout the day. A large percentage of constant checkers report that they find it difficult to plan and follow through with a meeting with their friends and family. Then when they do get together, constant checkers feel disconnected from those around them.
In other words, constantly being engaged with applications on our phones can impact our mental health in a real way. This is especially true for people who are constantly engaged in social media applications like Instagram as this kind of applications tends to make users feel like their something better on the other side of the screen. That their lives aren’t as good as their favorite Instagram influencer. These comparisons and negative thoughts lead to self-doubt, self-criticism, and dissatisfaction with our lives and ourselves. Any sense of well-being is likely to take a hit as these negative thoughts crowd our minds.
By reducing your time spent on social media applications such as Instagram and Snapchat, you are more likely to live in the present, reducing your inability to connect with those around you. Furthermore, living in the present means focusing on what you do have not what you don’t have. Therefore, not only will an app blocker improve your sleep and ability to focus, but it will also help to decrease negative self-talk.
An app blocker – not to be confused with an ad blocker – is becoming more useful with every new app, every new game, every new distraction.
Not only will it keep you on the right track at work or when you’re studying, but it will improve your physical and mental health as a by-product!
Remember, breaking old habits takes practice and determination. If you’ve been going on Facebook in your spare time for the past five years, then switching up your routine will take some time.
An app blocker is simply a tool that can act as a reminder – you don’t have to choose social media or other distracting apps. There are other, more productive options to choose from! When you’re really feeling an urge to grab your phone, try taking a breath. And remind yourself that once you get over the hard part (the early stages of dealing with your addiction), your work or study load will seem lighter, your health will get better, and your life will feel more free.
FocusMe can help fend off a wide range of those distractions. It’s simple to use. And it’s more than just a website blocker – it can also block distracting apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, and Pinterest. FocusMe can help you take back your time.