The internet and all of its accessories have the potential to be extremely helpful. It provides us with relaxation, helpful resources and knowledge. On the other side, it can be harmful and prevent us from doing the things we want to do. We easily push our work to the side and procrastinate into the early hours of the morning then curse under our breath when we notice that we haven’t completed anything useful.
You may have resorted to helpful programs that will help you do more work. Some applications block our most visited sites if we just waste time on them. Others help us control the amount of time we spend on different tasks or help us slowly build habits by telling us how long we’ve been doing certain things.
I did (and still do) use apps to aid my discipline. However, they can easily be used as a crutch rather than a tool.
When we go to applications as solutions for our problems, we’re making an important mistake. Self discipline should be solved by the person. Not an external application found on the chrome store.
I find this approach problematic because you’ll find extremely easy ways to circumvent them. For example, ‘StayFocusd’ can be avoided if you do your browsing incognito mode or by using a different browser. There are stronger blocks out there but the point still stands. Maybe you’ll feel guilty after finding a way around them. Maybe not. Either way, you probably won’t do what you need to be doing.
When you’re looking for apps to help you with productivity, keep in mind that they’re just applications. Not all knowing problem solvers. Not your key to becoming super disciplined. Not the only things that can make you work. Just applications. You shouldn’t have multiple apps that do the same thing. Or apps that contain too many features which will simply prove to distract you even more. Do you really need a note taking app that stores pictures, news snippets you’ll never read, gives you compliments and tells you the weather a year in advance?
If you find yourself downloading endless productivity apps or researching far too much about the perfect app that’ll help you become disciplined, you probably need to assess your problem a bit further.
Applications are helpful but they should be used as tools. Not crutches. Remember, you can always unplug yourself from the internet completely.
Do you use productivity applications? Do you find them essential or just convenient?