How I Focus with Freedom
Maintaining a level of clear focus within the workplace (and indeed, at home) can be the single biggest obstacle that you need to overcome if you want to be the most productive version of yourself that you can be. Whenever I deliver a training workshop, there are always delegates that tell me it’s almost impossible to work for a given period of time without being interrupted.
This isn’t just dealing with interruptions from other people though. The majority of interruptions come from our technology.
I’m as guilty as anyone of this. The lure of the latest message, or the email that I’m missing out on can tempt me away easily from the piece of work I’m doing (especially if it’s something I really don’t want to do!). I’m a human being after all.
That’s why using an application like Freedom is vital for me to get anything done on my Apple devices and as it’s now a part of my toolkit, I want to share how it works with you.
Freedom is an application that runs on your macOS or iOS device (Windows too if you have to use a PC for work) and it can block applications and websites for a given period of time. It sits in the menu bar on macOS for easy access at any time.
When you take out a subscription, you are able to install Freedom on multiple devices. I’ve got it installed on all of mine (four) and I can start a session on any device, from any device - which is very useful. Sometimes in my office, I have my iPhone, iPad and iMac connected at once and I don’t want to have to start a session on all three devices. Clicking the Freedom icon in the menu bar, selecting All Devices and starting a session is quick and easy.
Sessions can be started on the fly, or if you are lucky enough to have a routine for work, you can schedule them to start automatically. You can define the length of time that the session will run for, which blocklists will take effect as well as the devices that will be affected. If you want to schedule a single session for later, click Start Later or, for recurring sessions, there is an link for that too.
There are two Blocklists created by default - Block All Websites and Block Desktop Apps. It’s very rare I’ll block all sites as, quite often, I need to carry out research as part of my work. Therefore I just use a couple of custom blacklists instead, that stop me from being to access any Social Media sites.
You can manage which Desktop Apps will be blocked in a session by selecting Manage Blocked Desktop Apps from the Freedom menu bar and selecting the installed applications that you wish to be filtered. I do use this, as there can be some applications, or games, that may tempt me a little too much when I’m trying to get stuff done.
You can Lock a session, which means that you cannot override the settings at all once a session has started - this is a must if you have problems with your willpower! Let’s be honest, without this option, if you want to just turn Freedom off for your machine once a session has started, you can do so very easily. This takes that further level of temptation away.
I love Freedom and can’t recommend it enough. You can use it on a free trial to see if it’s suitable for you. The trial gives you 7 sessions. Other pricing options include a Monthly plan, at $6.99 per month, a Yearly plan at $29 per year and a Forever plan, at $119 that does at is says - gives you Freedom forever, including all future upgrades.
Black-belt members of Think Productive’s Productivity Ninja Academy get 40% off of the Yearly/Forever plans. As a Productivity Ninja, I create some of the content within the Academy so come over and see what’s available!