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How to be productive?

During my school days, I grappled with a common challenge - gaming. The allure of Counter Strike and Quake led me to neglect my homework, resulting in a noticeable decline in my grades. Realization struck like a lightning bolt - I needed to break free from the gaming cycle and refocus on my studies. The decision yielded positive results, and my grades saw a welcome improvement.

As I transitioned into the professional realm, the landscape was different. The advent of Facebook presented a new challenge, but at that time, distractions were relatively few. A switch to a Mac, devoid of gaming options, further aided my productivity. Those years stand out as one of the most industrious periods of my life, driven not just by a lack of distractions, but also the demanding nature of the job.

Soon, a dichotomy emerged in workplaces - some companies blocked websites like Facebook and YouTube, while others trusted their employees with unrestricted internet access. While I appreciated the trust extended by the latter, I found myself gradually succumbing to the allure of mindless scrolling on various platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and news portals. The advent of mobile apps like TikTok, Shorts, Reels, and Instagram only exacerbated the situation.

Recognizing the detrimental impact on my productivity, I delved into various productivity books, hoping to find a solution. However, most of them provided a short motivational boost which I saw dwindle in a couple of weeks.

Only two options really helped me to be productive and get things done:

  1. Be so busy that there is literally zero time for distractions. However, this definitely takes a toll on mental health and it’s neither sustainable neither viable in the longer term.

  2. Straight up blocking as many distractions as possible.

For option 2) came when I borrowed a strategy from literature on overcoming addictions - eliminate the source. In the case of distractions, this meant blocking them. Personally, I employed the SelfControl app on my Mac for this purpose. It’s far from the most elegant solution, but it does the job. However, having to type your password each time you want to block websites is quite a pain in the butt.

Tunnel vision extreme focused state
Extreme focus sometimes described as having tunnel vision

When Apple announced Screen Time for iPhone I was hoping this will finally be the breakthrough to limit my addiction of scrolling endlessly on iPhone. Although I attempted to use the native Screen Time feature on my iPhone, it proved less effective, as I could easily bypass its restrictions. It simply made my habit of procrastinating on apps a bit longer, since I also needed to press Ignore Limit For Today or Remind Me in 15 Minutes each time before the dreadful session of time wasting. It felt even worse, because each time it reminded me that I’m kinda cheating myself and have no will. Long story short, it’s fair to say native app limits via Screen Time simply didn’t work for you.If you haven't’ tried it and if you’re wondering how to setup app blocking via Screen Time on iPhone here’s a how you do it:

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Find Screen Time

  3. App Limits

  4. Add Limit

  5. Select apps or categories to be limited.

  6. Selec how much time per day you’re allowed to use it

bypass Time Limit on iPhone

However, if you feel that this also isn’t sufficient to you and you find yourself mindlessly bypassing Screen Time limits. Stick around until I tell you about the best iPhone app for ADHD.

Amidst the chaos of life - professional demands, family responsibilities, and the constant barrage of events - I began noticing cognitive strains. The sheer volume of tasks, from caring for family and kids to managing invoices and taxes, made me question if I was experiencing symptoms akin to ADHD. This introspection led to the inception of HyperDo, a neat productivity tool designed to free your mind of tasks and counter distractions.

HyperDo is a simple yet potent to-do app for the iPhone, transforming it into a "dumb phone" during focused work periods. While calls and texts remain accessible, the app allows users to block distracting applications, fostering an environment conducive to concentration.

With HyperDo we're using the same native Apple Screen Time API and we're able to toggle blocking and unblocking of apps however there is no way of bypassing it except finishing the task! Ok, in all fairness there is - you can also close the task without finishing it, but that's not what being productive is :) It's worth mentioning that Screen Time API is built with privacy in mind and developers of applications (that's us) can't see which apps you're blocking or using it all stays on device.

We've got few extra aces up our sleeves, too! Like the task that you're focusing on is being displayed on the lockscreen, so whenever you feel your mind has wandered just tap on the screen and the task will be reminded to you by our quirky mascot Hyper the Owl. It will also have something to say when you're trying to open restricted apps.

The logic of HyperDo is limiting oneself to a singular task and employing distraction-blocking tactics proves to be an effective strategy for individuals with ADHD, and the rationale behind this approach is grounded in the cognitive challenges inherent to the condition. ADHD, characterized by symptoms such as impulsivity, difficulty sustaining attention, and a tendency to become easily distracted, benefits significantly from a focused and structured work environment.

1. Attention Management:

Individuals with ADHD often struggle with managing their attention effectively. By concentrating on one task at a time, the cognitive load is reduced, allowing for better focus and sustained attention. Multitasking, a common pitfall, can exacerbate distraction for individuals with ADHD, making it harder to complete any given task successfully.

2. Reducing Cognitive Load:

ADHD can lead to information overload, making it challenging for individuals to process multiple stimuli simultaneously. Engaging in one task at a time reduces cognitive load, providing a clearer mental space to process information more efficiently. This, in turn, promotes better decision-making and task completion.

3. Mitigating Impulsivity:

ADHD is often associated with impulsive behavior. Focusing on a single task helps mitigate impulsive tendencies, as it encourages individuals to think more deliberately before moving on to the next activity. Distraction-blocking measures further aid in curbing impulsive urges to check notifications or switch between tasks.

4. Enhancing Task Completion:

Completion of tasks can be a significant challenge for individuals with ADHD. By limiting oneself to one task and blocking potential distractions, the likelihood of completing that task increases. This not only boosts productivity but also provides a sense of accomplishment, which is crucial for maintaining motivation and focus.

5. Creating a Controlled Environment:

Distraction-blocking tools, such as those employed by HyperDo, create a controlled work environment. This control is crucial for individuals with ADHD who may find it difficult to filter out external stimuli. By establishing a designated space for focused work, these tools empower individuals to shape an environment conducive to their unique cognitive needs.

6. Encouraging Mindful Work:

Mindfulness is a key component of managing ADHD. By consciously choosing to concentrate on one task at a time, individuals with ADHD can foster mindfulness in their work. This intentional approach not only improves the quality of work but also enhances self-awareness, helping individuals better understand their strengths and challenges.

7. Minimizing Overwhelm:

The constant bombardment of information and stimuli can be overwhelming for individuals with ADHD. Focusing on a single task and blocking distractions minimizes this overwhelm, providing a more manageable and less stressful work environment.

If you're willing to give this a go, embark on the journey to heightened productivity by signing up for early access to HyperDo at Let's navigate the ever-evolving landscape of distractions together and reclaim control over our focus.


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