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Three apps that help you concentrate

FOMO — Several studies show that the overuse of smartphones makes you unfocussed and stressed. But don’t worry, we have found three apps that can help you refocus on your studies.

You are actually at class, but you have to check Instagram or Facebook, or see if someone has answered your snap. You lose focus on what your professor is saying. In fact, surveys show that young people aged 15-30 years check their mobiles up to 200 times a day. But now there is help from several apps that can help you put your phone away from you and focus on your studies again.

‘Hold’ – focus on class

The ‘Hold’ app is designed specifically for students and installs a kind of ‘lock’ on the phone that keeps an eye on whether you check it. If you stay away from the phone for 20 minutes, you get a point, and when you have 15 points you can get a cup of coffee from 7-Eleven or raffle tickets for adventures. The app has been tested by students at the Copenhagen Business School, and results from Norway show that the students who have used it have improved their grade point average by 30 per cent.

‘Hold’ is available for iOS and Android. Free

‘Moment’ against mobile addiction

The ‘Moment‘ app detects how often you lock and open your screen and shows you a log of how long you have spent on your phone each day. When you’ve used your phone too much, a message will appear on your screen with a reminder that you need to leave your phone. In this way, you are confronted with your own mobile addiction, and you are nudged to put your phone away.

Bonus info: Kevin Holesh, who developed the app, reduced the amount of time he spent on the mobile phone daily from 75 minutes to 40 minutes.

‘Moment’ available for iOS. Free.

‘Freedom’ – blocks distractions

The name is not meant to be ironic. With the ‘Freedom’ app, you can block all apps and websites that you use to procrastinate (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.). You decide how long the pages are to be blocked and during that time you can concentrate on your work. You can also set a permanent block on a certain period every day, so that you, say, don’t check Facebook between 10 and 12 on weekdays. Now that’s nifty, isn’t it?

‘Freedom’ is available for iOS and Android. Free.

Note: During the half an hour it took to write this article, I checked Instagram five times and Facebook messenger twice.

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