Are you struggling with smartphone addiction and can’t focus on the more important things in life? If yes, you’re not alone.
We are living in a world where almost everything is going digital. From making cashless payments to watching movies to buying groceries – everything is available on the internet.
While smartphones have made our lives easier, they have made people increasingly reliant on them for even the most trivial tasks. Plus, smartphones have opened up the vista to endless entertainment, making people develop an addiction that is hard to cure.
You can beat this addiction and make your life more fruitful with proper measures. Luckily, several apps out there can reduce your smartphone obsession. This article will list some of the best apps to stop smartphone addiction and boost productivity.
How Does Smartphone Addiction Disturb Your Health?
Smartphone addiction causes several health difficulties. Using phones for too long causes your sleep quality to decrease. Besides, it can reduce the function of your immune system and is a major reason behind maladaptive behavior issues.
Besides physical health, excessive smartphone usage can also hamper your mental health. Dr. Hyung Suk Seo of Korea University has warned that smartphone addiction gives rise to a chemical imbalance in their brains, making them more vulnerable to depression and anxiety.
Signs of Smartphone Addiction
If you are unsure of whether you are addicted to your smartphone or not, try to look for the below signs. A person with smartphone addiction will show some or most of these signs:
Constant urge to use the cell phone at all times
Persistent failure to limit smartphone usage, even after thinking about that a lot
Feelings of anger, frustration, impatience, irritation, tension, etc., when the smartphone is inaccessible
Strain on eyes
Neck pain and decreased mobility
Isolation from family and dear ones
Strong sense of absence of connection
Lack of focus
Non-existence of social life
Next, we will understand the health problems associated with smartphone addiction.
Health Problems Associated With Smartphone Addiction
In case you were unaware, smartphone addiction can have numerous negative effects on your life. Here are some of them:
#1. Neck Problems
Looking at your smartphone screen all day long puts excessive strain on your neck and spine. This can give rise to a condition known as ‘Text Neck,’ causing neck pain and reducing mobility.
#2. Eye Strain
By staring at your mobile screen for a prolonged period, you are overstimulating your eyes. Such overstimulation can strain your eyes and end up irritating them.
Excessive exposure to your smartphone may make it almost customary to respond instantly to any text, call, or mail you receive. It can give rise to social anxiety and increase your stress levels.
#4. Concentration Problem
Smartphone addiction can shorten our attention span. A study conducted by Microsoft found the digital multitaskers participating in the study had an average attention span of eight seconds, one second lesser than even a goldfish. Such a short attention span can make you struggle to concentrate and be less productive.
#5. Brain Structure Alteration
Research conducted by PLoS One found that digital multitasking can alter your brain’s physical structure. People addicted to smartphones have smaller grey matter density in their anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), making them have hampered cognition and socioemotional well-being.
What Should Be the Key Features of an App Claiming to Curb Smartphone Addiction?
Today, you would hardly find any smartphone addiction-stopping app not boasting about its abilities. But not all of them are effective.
So how do you know whether an app claiming to break your smartphone obsession will work? Well, check out the below must-have features before downloading any such applications:
The app should have a detailed analysis of your smartphone and app usage times.
It should have the ability to block apps that are the most distracting.
The app must have a focus mode to give you a distraction-free environment.
It should keep track of the notification received during the focus time, so you never lose something important.
There should be an option to choose to receive calls from your loved ones if need be, even during the focus period.
Now, we will see how we can stop smartphone addiction by being productive.
How Can Be Productive Help Stop Smartphone Addiction?
Smartphone addiction is related to procrastination. We feel bored when we have nothing to do and turn to our smartphones for entertainment.
Therefore, being productive can help you break this addiction. When doing something meaningful, your mind is completely focused on that task. It doesn’t have time to think about something else.
You have to be cautious, though. As your mind is so used to smartphones, even a little notification from a social media app can hamper your productive phase, and you may end up spending an hour on your phone again.
That’s why it’s vital to limit your smartphone exposure to get things done. For this purpose, dedicated apps capable of managing your usage time can be beneficial.
Now that you have an idea about how prolonged exposure to smartphones harms well-being and how being productive helps curb it. Let us see some apps that can come to your aid.
Freedom is an effective app that helps you stop your obsessions with smartphones. If you are constantly getting distracted whenever you are trying to focus, Freedom is perfect for eliminating such distractions.
Available on both iOS and Android platforms, this app lets you block sites and apps when you need to concentrate.
You can select apps and sites from its pre-made block list for easier blocking or making your custom list. You can also block your smartphone’s internet connectivity for increased efficiency.
Other features of the app include syncing across multiple devices, scheduling your blocks, focusing sounds, locked mode, etc.
Nonetheless, Freedom doesn’t block important calls or messages. Hence, people can still reach you if it is urgent. Users have reported gaining about 2.5 hours of spare time daily. So, it is worth a try.
Although Freedom has a free trial of seven sessions, you must purchase their premium subscription by paying $39.99/year after the trial period ends.
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If you cannot control your screen time, YourHour can be an ideal choice. YourHour helps you curb your smartphone addiction and provides you with fun, personalized challenges to break your habit.
YourHour will effectively track your usage time and unlock count for a week to inform you about your level of addiction. There are six addiction levels: Addicted, Obsessed, Dependent, Habitual, Achiever, and Champion.
Such careful analysis allows the app to provide you with recommendations, especially tailor-made for you.
Besides that, the app gives you daily and monthly reports for better understanding. Also, the Floating Timer of the app shows you statistics in real time. The timer shows up on every app and even changes color (Green > Amber > Red) to warn you of your usage time so that you know when to quit.
However, YourHour never blocks your notifications or calls. Therefore, you don’t have to worry. Other useful features of the app include a widget, timeline, dashboard, and so on.
YourHour is available for free on the Play Store but has in-app purchases.
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If you feel that you are spending too much time on your phone, QualityTime could be an excellent choice. The app has all the features necessary to reduce your screen time.
It monitors your phone/app usage and helps you figure out your digital habits. You will get daily and weekly reports on how much time you spent on each app and how many times you opened them.
Also, QualityTime lets you opt for device and app usage alerts so that you get a notification each time you go beyond the set limits.
The app makes it easier to disconnect from the digital world and focus in peace by tapping on the ‘Take a Break’ widget. By the way, there’s nothing to worry about that you might miss something important, as the app will keep track of all notifications you receive during breaks.
The free-to-install app is available for Android devices and comes with in-app purchases.
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Lock&Stock makes getting rid of phone addiction more fun by offering cool prizes for building better habits. The app has a lock mode that lets you set a goal and start your timer. During this time, your phone will stay locked so that no pesky app or notification disturbs you.
Once you lock your device, you will start gaining one key (reward) for every minute passed. More focus means better rewards. You can use these keys to send underprivileged children to school.
Also, you can take part in the Zen Master competition by collecting Zen Points. You can earn more Zen Points by focusing more and leveling up. You can receive an attractive prize by being the number 1 user for a week.
Such perks and prizes are a great way to boost users’ motivation to say adios to their smartphone obsession. What’s better than reducing your smartphone usage and winning awesome rewards simultaneously? Talk about a win-win situation.
Taking a break from your smartphone becomes easy with Social Fever, as it effectively tracks your smartphone usage and offers solutions to beat such distractions.
The app lets you set timers and limit your phone usage to do something more productive in your free time, like taking a walk or having deep conversations with your family. Also, you will see a floating real-time tracker on your screen, reminding you of the real-time time spent on each app.
Apart from those, Social Fever has other useful features, such as eye and ear health management, daily water reminder, etc., to improve your overall well-being.
You can download Social Fever free of cost on your Android devices.
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Stay Focused does exactly what its name suggests – it blocks apps and websites to remove distractions and help you stay focused. The app provides you with an intelligent overview of your daily usage so that you know what app to use less.
Stay Focused has many features that will aid you in your digital detox. These include app and email blocking, website and keyword blocking, URL filtering, screen time tracker, etc. Stay Focused also has a ‘Strict Mode,’ allowing users to lock their profile and get more quality time.
While you can get the app for free on the Google Play Store, the app has a paid option for unlocking premium features. Starting at $7.49, it is a one-time purchase. Hence, you won’t need to pay anything extra in the future.
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If you find it difficult to eradicate procrastination and do something productive, Detox: Procrastination Blocker is an option worth considering. Smartphone addiction and procrastination are a notorious combo and harm your self-control.
This app empowers the user to tap an icon and perform a digital detox. During a session, the app checks your usage status to help you not get distracted by other apps and be more productive.
While the app is free of cost to Android users, it has in-app purchases that unlock more features.
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AntiSocial is an excellent app for tracking your smartphone usage and blocking the apps you are most addicted to. The app makes it easier for you to understand normal usage by comparing your usage time with other AntiSocial users.
AntiSocial’s clutter-free UI and easy-to-understand reports ensure that even technologically challenged users know what to do. It has sufficient tools to help you manage your phone usage and maintain productivity.
As the app works in the background, you don’t have to unlock your screen every time for AntiSocial to function. This, however, doesn’t mean that it drains the battery faster. In fact, the app ensures its least possible impact on your phone’s battery life and data.
Currently, AntiSocial is free for Android users. And, the best part? It is completely ad-free.
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Off the Grid
Off the Grid is a great way to reduce your waking hours spent on your smartphone by creating a distraction-free environment each time you need to focus. Simply schedule the period between which you don’t want any distractions, and the app will take care of it.
The app also lets you decide whether to receive calls during your focus hours. Additionally, you can set custom auto-reply messages to inform your loved ones why you’re currently unavailable.
At present, Android users can download it for free. However, if you access your phone before one of your Off the Grid session expires, you have to pay a fee starting at $1 or watch a video ad.
Such punishments are a good way to repel you from touching your phone often. There are also in-app purchases for unlocking extra features.
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Digitox is an effective cure for nomophobia – a disorder prevalent in the modern world. If you, too, feel reluctant to leave your smartphone and engage in real-life activities, Digitox can be your savior.
The app helps you decrease screen time by tracking your digital habits and limiting your usage of selected apps.
Digitox will remind you to get off your digital screen whenever you exceed the set limit. Its key features include daily usage statistics, daily/weekly reports, parental control, dark/white theme, categorized screen time, network statistics overview, and so on.
Interestingly, you can choose from pre-defined categories like Music, Games, News & Magazines, etc., or create your own based on your specific needs and lifestyle.
As of now, Android users can download Digitox free of cost. However, there are in-app purchases that offer a more advanced digital detox experience.
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ActionDash makes it possible to concentrate and boost productivity by managing your app usage cleverly. This app monitors your daily habits and informs you about your total screen time, unlock and app launch histories, etc.
This aids you in detecting your most used apps and limiting their usage times. Also, the app comes with ‘Focus’ and ‘Sleep’ modes.
While the former lets you pause distracting apps when you’re doing something productive, the latter helps you schedule your sleep time so that ActionDash disables apps during those hours. In addition, you can compare your average daily usage with other users worldwide.
As you can see, limiting your smartphone exposure can help you live a healthier, more productive life. This article will share the best apps to stop smartphone addiction and boost productivity. No more distractions! No more procrastination! Buckle up to change your life for the better. All the best!
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