How to lock apps and websites to avoid distraction

How to lock apps and websites to avoid distraction

Whether its work, school, assignments, or simply an insatiable app addiction, sometimes plain old willpower isn’t enough to help you avoid getting distracted by your favorites apps, games, and websites.

A recent study shows, for example, that about 70% of students procrastinate by playing online or mobile games, or by browsing their favorite website– Facebook anyone?

Whether you need to get some work done, pay attention in class, or simply want to avoid being tempted by Candy Crush, try locking your apps using the guide below.

Download the “locks” for Windows and Android

There are tons out there, but the “locks” I used here are Focus Lock for Android, and FocalFilter for Windows.

You can download Focus Lock from Google Play, while FocalFilter is installed on your PC as a program. For Android, see below. Scroll through if you want to see how you can do it on Windows.

Set up Focus Lock on Android

Every time you open Focus Lock, it asks you to enter a code, which prevents others from adjusting locks without your permission. Before getting started, you must enter the default code, which is 0000. You can then change it from the options menu.

In the Installed tab, you can choose which apps you want to lock. Just hit the padlock icon. Once it turns green, the app is locked and appears in the Locked tab.

To set the duration of the lock, press the stopwatch icon. You can set the amount of time the apps are locked, as well as how long the break lasts, which indicates the amount of time you can access the app between locks (everyone needs a break every once in a while, right?). You can only adjust locks during a break.

Set up FocalFilter in Windows

Run FocalFilter. It shows a very simple window that displays a drop down menu to adjust the duration of the lock, along with two buttons, one to edit the list of websites, and the other to activate the lock.

Click on the first button, Edit My Site List, to add the web pages you want to block on all web browsers. Add just one web page per line. Entering http:// in the web address isn’t necessary.

Once the list is saved, click on Block My Site List. Then, restart the browser and the block will be applied. Blocked pages will be inaccessible until the block time runs out, or until you restart your PC.

Note that FocalFilter might not work if you have an antivirus that interferes. If you don’t get an alert, you’ll need to manually authorize FocalFilter for the block to be effective.

If your antivirus interferes, authorize the changes for FocalFilter manually.

How do I deactivate the lock?

For FocalFilter, all you have to do to deactivate the block is to simply restart your PC.

With Focus Lock, you have to wait for the pause notification to appear, then go to the app and deactivate the lock.

FocalFilter and Focus Lock can both be uninstalled. The purpose of these apps isn’t to completely block access to web sites and apps, rather, to make it a bit more difficult for you to give into impulses when you should be doing something else.

You still need a bit of self control

Consider these apps a helping hand. Sure, they’ll help you avoid distractions, but only up to a certain point. If you use them as intended, then it’ll be easier to get on with your work, but at the end of the day, it’ll still take a bit of willpower to avoid being distracted by your devices.

If you want to sync your Android apps with a PC, check out our tutorial on how you can do it.

Follow me on Twitter: @remoquete

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