If you're like most busy professionals today, it can be hard to tear yourself away from your phone screen. With apps, email, and social media all at the tip of our fingers, we're constantly distracted by the mobile world. It may seem counterintuitive to use an app to unplug, but in an age where we use our smartphones for almost everything, it makes sense to fight fire with fire.
Here are six apps that can help you to, well, stop using your apps:
1. Offtime (iOS, Android)
This app helps users unplug by blocking distracting apps like Facebook and games and filtering communications. It includes information on how much you actually use your smartphone. You can choose tailored modes like Work, Family, or Me Time to ensure that you have access to the things you need, but aren't distracted by what you don't. Analytics of your phone and app usage can be an important wake-up call, and can help you curb your habits.
2. Moment (iOS)
Moment tracks your device usage and allows you to set daily limits; the app notifies you if you exceed them. You can even use a setting that "forces" you off your phone by flooding your screen with annoying alerts when you try to extend your screen time. Moment can also be used for families, with the option to track your family's device use from your own phone.
3. BreakFree (iOS, Android)
BreakFree incorporates the usage tracking features found in many similar apps, but it differs in that it breaks down the information into an easy-to-understand "addiction score." It also shows you how often you unlock your phone screen, and comprehensively logs your usage for the day. This system makes it a great choice for those who like to set goals and challenge themselves. In an ironic twist, it can almost be addictive to try to see how low you can get your addiction score.
4. Flipd (iOS, Android)
If you find that you need a more aggressive approach to unplugging, Flipd is the app for you. Flipd allows you to lock your phone for a set period of time, and once you do, there's no going back. Even restarting your phone won't disable the app, so it's impossible for you to cheat! Flipd can even be used to remotely "flip off" one user from another user's device, which is helpful for teams that want to keep one another on point.
5. AppDetox (Android)
Hooked on mobile games? Can't stop refreshing Twitter? AppDetox can help you get your fixation under control if apps are your kryptonite. You can set your own parameters on an app-by-app basis so you can have access when it's not a disruption. Every time you break one of your own rules, the app reminds you to put down your phone.
6. Stay on Task (Android)
Stay on Task helps your productivity in a gentler way. The app simply asks if you're still on task at random intervals during your day. If you're someone who easily gets distracted, this app can be a great way to redirect your focus when your mind is wandering.
Do you have a smartphone addiction? What, if anything, do you use to pull you away from your smartphone?