If you’re tempted to stop what you’re working on every few minutes in order to fiddle with your phone, watch, or tablet, you’re not alone. It’s satisfying to scroll through YouTube shorts, TikTok, or social media, letting the images numb your brain to all that’s going on around you…and all you need to do. If you’re a student who’s struggling to focus on studying, then you might want to check out some of these websites and apps to help you stay focused and motivated to study and get through your coursework more quickly. WTI’s students work through their online courses on their own schedules and at their own pace, so it’s helpful to be able to direct students to these helpful tools.
“Stay focused, be present” is what greets you on the site for this helpful focus aid. This app is wildly motivational if you have a hard time visualizing how much time you’ve spent studying. You’re given a great image to help you work up to your chosen amount of focused work time. You can set a timer in lots of different apps, so what’s different about Forest?
First of all, you choose a type of tree that you want to plant within the app and then you have to grow that virtual tree by staying focused on your task and not fidgeting with your phone for the full amount of time you’ve chosen. You can choose any focus time from ten minutes on up to two hours. Honestly, it might be very tempting to pick up your phone and scroll, but if you’re supposed to be focusing and you exit out of the app, your virtual tree DIES. Your decision to leave the app kills the tree you watched grow from a seedling. Sure, the tree was never real, but it feels like a loss. Leaving the app knowing that the tree is going to die is actually hard to do – even if you have to force yourself to exit the app to see what happens for an article you’re writing! After all, you only had to focus for a bit longer and the little tree could have lived!
Forest is a free app, but you can purchase it for a few bucks and get some perks. They partner with Trees for the Future so that as you earn virtual coins, you can have the Forest team donate and have actual trees planted. Sure, it’s a small bonus in an already motivational, cool app, but lots of small positives add up. In fact, as of the writing of this article, Forest users had helped Trees for the Future plant over 2 million trees.
Google Keep isn’t nearly as exciting as Forest, but it’s incredibly practical for someone who enjoys checking tasks off a list or who needs to share lists with other people to keep their lives running smoothly. You can attach documents to your lists, you can set reminders to do things, and then you have the ultimate pleasure of knocking tasks off one at a time. So if you’re struggling to stay motivated to study, and you need to make yourself a handy list that includes a detailed checklist like the one below, Keep is a great app for you:
- • Set up time to study
- • Set alarm on Forest for focus
- • Read chapter 10 for 20 minutes
- • Take a stretch break
- • Take notes for 20 minutes
- • Take stretch break
- • Read chapter 10 for 20 more minutes
- • Take a stretch break
- • Take notes for 20 more minutes
- • Take stretch break
Notice that the list includes some awesome features. You get to actually check off boxes when you’ve finished items. In the app, you can rearrange items very easily, too, so if you need to reorder your tasks, go for it. You might think that the list seems a bit pointless since it includes every tiny task you need to do as you study. But because the human brain – including yours – likes to accomplish tasks, every time you get to check something off your list is a motivational mental win and will encourage you to keep working and come back for more during your next study session.
This product is really cool because it can cross over to various devices and even works as an app on your Mac or extension through Chrome. With it, you can set estimated times for each of your tasks to be completed, keep a running tally of how many tasks you have to complete and how many you’ve actually completed, and keep track of how much time you’ve spend on the various tasks in total. You can plan tasks for the day or the week, too.
You can set a timer that includes a variety of choices for white noise to play while you’re task’s timer is ticking down. You’ve got lots of options for white noise, and luckily, you can even minimize the timer so that it’s very small on your screen. If you struggle with feeling anxious about a time you’ve set to complete a task, you can instead use the timer like you would in the Forest app – as a way to motivate you to keep focusing on a task for a set amount of time before you take a little break. You can conveniently set a focused timer for anywhere between 1 and 480 minutes. You can set up short breaks to interject after one round or set up longer breaks to interject after multiple rounds of focus. This app is free regardless of what version of it you want to use: on your laptop, phone, or desktop. It can keep you organized and help you focus on whatever you need to accomplish.
Washington Technical Institute
Washington Technical Institute’s courses are perfect for busy adults or for young people trying to figure out what field they want to jump into. Our certificate programs can be completed in a matter of months, with daily or bi-weekly start dates. Such flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. Most of our certificates can be earned as a self-paced program, meaning that you can work at your own pace to complete your work, even finishing early if you have the time and motivation to do so. An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt.
Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Climb Credit or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs.
If you’re ready to enroll and start working on a plan for the personal and professional benefit of professional development, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702. Our admissions specialists will be happy to answer whatever questions you have.