If you’re a Mac user and often find yourself tempted to goof off when you should be working, I want to introduce you to Concentrate.
Here’s how Concentrate works:
Name an activity you complete at your computer that requires focus. This activity might be something like creating presentations, reading PDFs for class, or laying out a newsletter. Once you’ve identified the activity, you can edit the specifics of how you want your computer to function. Determine what applications you’ll use and which ones you definitely won’t, specific websites or documents you’ll need and ones you won’t, your online status, which spaces to use (if you use the multi-desktop program), customize your desktop image, and even launch scripts. You can also set a timer to help keep you focused for a specific period, with sounds and recorded messages that can cheer you on along the way. You can set your preferences to have an icon automatically appear at start up so turning on the activity environment only takes one-click.
You can get 60 hours for free to try the service, and $29 if you choose to purchase it. My favorite part of the program is its incredibly simple user interface. Setting up the preferences takes very little time and effort, and turning on the activity is even easier. A program that is a breeze to use increases the likelihood that I’ll actually use it. And, I’m using Concentrate as I write this.