12 Best Focus Apps to Keep You off Your Phone

How do you avoid using your phone, or how can you avoid using it? That may sound rhetorical, yet many have become addicted to their devices. We have our phones in our hands the majority of the time, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. We now have waterproof phones, and people use them in the shower as well. We’ll look through the best focus apps to keep you off your phone.

You can also check: 7 Best Focus Apps for Mac to Stay Laser-Focused

But why do we have this habit of checking phones every other minute?

Routine, Reward, Cue cycle

Cue, Routine, and Reward are the three aspects of any habit, according to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit.

1. Cue: A habit’s starting point. When you’re bored or trying to concentrate on something essential but can’t seem to concentrate, your mind wanders to a place that is more rewarding. In this situation, the smartphone is nearby, and you simply grab it for a short glance.

2. Routine: Now that you have your smartphone in your hands, it’s just a matter of going through your old routine of checking apps. For example, I always check for essential emails first, then go to Instagram and look at a few items there, and then maybe text someone on WhatsApp.

3. Reward: It’s the icing on the cake that makes it difficult to break a habit. Every time, dopamine and serotonin are the rewards. These are the joyful chemicals released by your brain as a reward for a job well done. It makes us happy and pleased, and it takes away our monotony, but temporarily.

Focus Apps to Keep off Your Phone

The best method to stop a habit is to remove the cue, which in this case means making it difficult for us to check our phones by using apps that temporarily restrict other apps on our iPhone and Android.

Do you know the 8 Best DND Apps for Android to Stay Focused?

The Problem with the Do Not Disturb (DND) Mode

Both Android and iOS have a built-in Do Not Disturb option, but it’s ineffective. It will simply suppress notifications, not prohibit you from using your phone. The apps on this list will help you keep away from your smartphone.

1. Digital Wellbeing – Default App

Google created Digital Wellbeing to combat smartphone addiction. All Android Pie (Android 9) or higher devices have it under the Settings menu. The screen-time window in Digital Wellbeing is set to 6 hours by default. You can alter it to any amount that suits your needs. The phone becomes unreachable till the next day if the stated limit is surpassed.

Screen On Time on Android with Digital Wellbeing

Google’s department has experimented with six other apps to supplement the Digital Wellbeing app for Android. These apps use innovative methods to limit your screen time, such as displaying a large counter on the screen that displays the number of times you have unlocked your phone. Another program, We Flip, allows you to create groups where everyone in your family is required to remain off their phones, and if anyone breaks the rule, everyone receives a notification and the session ends.

Pros

  • Additional app customization
  • Insightful information

Cons

  • Monitors based solely on screen-on time

2. Forest: Grow Trees by

Forest takes over your phone and decides when it’s time to take a break. You must first set a time. Assume the period is 20 minutes, and you must set aside your phone for that duration. Meanwhile, inside the app, a digital plant will grow. You can pick up your phone if you feel compelled, but it will have consequences.

Forest sends you a notification when you open an unapproved app, telling you to put your phone down or your digital plant will die. It works because most individuals simply need a gentle nudge to deter them from opening apps and becoming sidetracked. Who wants to see a plant die, anyway?

Forest app on the Android to keep you focused

Pros

  • UI that is intuitive but not invasive
  • When you spend your token, Forest will plant actual trees.

Cons

  • Only uses alerts to keep you out of apps.

Download Forest for Android (Free, Ads)

Download Forest for iOS ( $1.99)

3. Stay Focused: App That Locks the Phone While Studying

Stay Focused allows you to filter apps and lock them. This is to prevent you from using your phone rashly. It is one of the best focus apps to keep you off your phone. It is more sophisticated than the previous apps. It features a tight option, for example, that stops you from completely removing the software. This implies you must control your impulses and refrain from using your phone. It’s an excellent tool, but you should be aware of the risks of using a very stringent mode.

You won’t be able to use any of the apps listed. And there’s nothing you can do about it till the timer runs out. It also prevents you from receiving notifications from certain apps till the next day. It also displays the history of your daily and weekly app usage. This will help you figure out how to break those bad behaviors and become more productive.

Stay focused app to lock your phone when working and studying

Pros

  • App usage statistics and data for improved insights

Cons

  • The free version’s usage period is restricted to 60 minutes.

Download Stay Focused on Android (Free, in-app purchases)

4. Offtime: Block Apps at Certain Times on Android

Offtime allows you to relax and disconnect from your phone. Simply provide the app with the necessary permissions and create a list of apps you don’t want to be blocked, such as Google Chrome or Skype. Offtime will take up the entire screen and display a countdown for the time you won’t be able to use your phone. Its distinguishing feature is its ability to become the administrator and control all aspects. It even prevents you from turning on the monitor till the countdown expires. You obtain information about your usage and activity, which helps you spot patterns.

Offtime decide a timeout for your phone

You’ll get a stern message if you try to launch any app that isn’t whitelisted while locked out of your phone, but you won’t be able to open it.

Pros

  • Strong design
  • Administrative control should avoid at all costs

Cons

  • There is no way to create a profile for specific apps.

Download Offtime for iOS ($2.99)

5. Help Me Focus

Help Me Focus is a powerful app blocker with numerous functions. It allows you to establish a profile as well as restrict apps to keep you off your phone. You can choose days and times for the app to run, as well as ban apps and notifications, in the profile. When the timer is out, the profile deactivates automatically. This automates the entire process, allowing you to focus on what really matters.

The app also offers an instant block option that blocks apps permanently. If you still can’t stop yourself from checking your alerts, there’s an inherent safeguard called ultra strict mode. It prohibits users from uninstalling and changing the profile of Help Me Focus when it is active.

Help Me Focus to block a chunk of apps at a time

Pros

  • App banning is done automatically.
  • Extremely stringent mode

Cons

  • Notifications that are muted remain visible.

Download Help Me Focus for Android (free

6. Freedom: Block Apps at Certain Times iPhone

Freedom is more of a content blocker for Safari, blocking the majority of websites. In the premium version, you may also block apps. It is currently only available for iOS and has a very minimal user interface. Setting the time period and the websites to block are the first steps in starting a session. Then you can adjust or create a new blocklist for the items you want to block. When you enable the locked mode, you will be unable to end the sessions and will find it more difficult to exit the app.

Freedom Focus app to keep off Phone

Pros

  • Blocking social media websites is useful in Safari

Cons:

  • Can’t really control and stop other apps

7. Flipd: App That Blocks Social Media While Studying

Quitting is easier when you have company. Flipd takes advantage of this by allowing you to make pacts with your pals to reduce your reliance on smartphones. You connect with your social network account, add your friends, and participate in this activity as a group. You can also do it by yourself in peace. Flipd features a premium edition that gives you more information about your activity.

Flipd Focus app to keep off Phone

Pros

  • You can divide your progress into groups and compare your results.

Cons

  • In the free version, you can’t set a timer for longer than 30 minutes.

Download Flipd forAndroid (free, in-app purchases)

Download Flipd for iOS (free, in-app purchases)

8. Space

Unlike other apps, Space does not believe that filtering an app will help; instead, you will quickly develop a new habit. Staring at the wall/fan seemed more intriguing than studying when your toys were taken away during study time. Or perhaps you have a habit of turning on your phone to see if there is a new notification.

Space is one of the best focus apps to keep you off your phone. It allows you to set a time limit for how long you can use your phone and how many times you can turn on the screen. The program secretly counts everything in the background once you set it up and turn it on. If you hit your daily limit of unlocks, you’ll receive a notification stating you’ve reached your limit. You can also compare your progress for up to 60 days with your friends.

Pros

  • The layout and approach are intuitive.

Cons

  • Notifications that aren’t invasive aren’t particularly effective.

Download Space for Android (Free, in-app purchases)

Download Space for iOS (Free, in-app purchases)

9. Daywise

Daywise gathers alerts from apps and displays them in bunches at regular times. It divides apps into two categories: instant apps and batch apps. You can receive notifications from instant apps at any moment. These are the apps for calling and messaging. However, alerts from Batch apps will arrive at a predetermined time. This could be during lunch or during regular breaks. In the batch apps, you can also add exceptions for persons. The main notion is to display notifications at a specific period so that you may concentrate on your work. Daywise will also arrange notifications by the app, so you can see them all in one place.

Daywise Focus app to keep off Phone

Pros

  • Notifications in bulk
  • Notifications are grouped by app.

Cons

  • Doesn’t work when it comes to media screen time.

Download Daywise on Android (Free)

10. We Flip

We Flip will take a break from technology to spend quality time together as a group. Install the app on everyone’s phone and turn on the light at the same time. With the help of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, all of your phones will be connected to each other. Your session will now terminate when anyone in the group tries to unlock their phone, and you can see how you performed and who ended the session. As a result, you can keep everyone off their phones at parties, meetings, and other events.

We Flip

Pros

  • Simple and straightforward

Cons

  • Only works in a group

11. Actuflow

Every time you wish to unlock your phone, this software asks for a reason. You can enter a reason and then click Save to begin using your phone. This prevents you from unlocking your phone for no reason. You may also set a reminder while unlocking so that it reminds you after a certain amount of time has passed. The option to set a reminder can be found in the app’s settings.

Actuflow

Pros:

  • The ability to disable dismiss, but you must explain why each time.

Cons:

  • The lack of properly unlocking animations makes it feel out of place.

Download Actuflow on Android (Free)

Closing Remarks: Best Focus Apps to Keep off Your Phone

We gave you a selection of the best focus apps phone to keep you away from your phone. The apps on this page assist you in breaking the habit by either recommending that you stay away from your phone with notifications and statistics or by restricting and blocking app access.

You can also use a difficult password to lock the app and save it in a password manager. Every time you want to use an app, you’ll have to go to your password manager first, making it less likely to happen in the first place.

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