Introducing Desktop App Blocking – New in Freedom 1.6

How to block desktop apps

Starting this week, we’re thrilled to announce that you can now block more of your digital distractions than ever with desktop app blocking for Mac.

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Expert Curt Steinhorst on Reclaiming Your Focus in the Age of Distraction

Curt Steinhorst - How to work in the age of distraction Meet Curt Steinhorst.

Curt is a productivity expert and founder of Focuswise, a consultancy that aims to help organizations overcome the distinct challenges of the constantly-connected workplace.

After spending years studying the impact of tech on human behavior, Curt is on a mission to rescue us from our distracted selves.

He is a leading voice in strategic communication, speaking more than 75 times a year to everyone from global leadership associations and nonprofits to Fortune 100 companies. Curt is also the author of the book Can I Have Your Attention?, a book that teaches you how to combat your distractions and reclaim your attention in all areas of your home and work life.

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Tamara Lush: On Finding the Focus to Write and Report

Tamara LushMeet tamara lush.

As a correspondent in Florida with The Associated Press, she covers everything from alligator attacks to hurricanes to executions to feature stories on cold case homicides.

And as if that wasn’t enough, when she’s not covering the news, she’s writing romance novels. Her debut novel, Hot Shade, was published in September of 2015 and received four stars from RT Book Reviews. Her most recent novel, a five-episode serial called Tell Me a Story,  has “an engaging voice, sexy heroes and heroines and a wry sense of humor,” according to New York Times bestselling author Beth Kery.

Tamara was also recently chosen as one of 24 writers for the Amtrak Residency program and spent two weeks in early 2017 riding around the country on a train with the opportunity to dig into her various writing projects. Read more

What is NaNoWriMo and How to Do It – 2017

What is NaNoWriMo?

As the month of November draws nearer, you may start to hear buzz surrounding NaNoWriMo or NaNo. Officially known as National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, (or NaNo,) is a month-long event that encourages participants to write a novel (at least 50,000 words) in the month of November. 

NaNoWriMo is a fun and fast-paced approach to creative writing with a mission statement that reads:

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

For anyone who has ever dreamt or even just considered writing a novel, NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to challenge and motivate yourself, find the resources you need, and tap into a community of writers who can help and support you along the way.  Read more

How to Block Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on Your Computer

How to block facebook on computer

WHY YOU SHOULD BLOCK FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND INSTAGRAM

By now, we all know that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram often steal away our attention and time when we need it most. Often all it takes is a single push notification to send us on an internet rabbit hole that can last minutes, hours, and eventually years. Although spending years on social media can seem exaggerated, a recent study by Mediakix estimated that the average person will spend approximately 5 years and 4 months on social media during a lifetime! A statistic that gets even scarier when compared to the amount of time the average person spends eating – 3 years and five months, or time spent doing laundry, 6 months.

At Freedom, we don’t think you have to block websites like Facebook and Twitter permanently. Many of us can agree that social media does have its benefits, but too often we use it compulsively rather than in a controlled and intentional manner. Read more

Cal Newport: Are You Using Social Media or Being Used By It?

social media addiction

A Social Experiment

If you, like many people, use social media and generally agree that it’s an important technology, try the following experiment.

Take out a piece of paper and list your most important uses for these services — the activities that social media is well-suited to provide and that unambiguously enrich your life. This list, for example, might include items like:

  • The ability to see new photos of your nephews, nieces, or grandchildren.
  • The Facebook Group used to run a local organization you belong to.
  • The  hashtag that keeps you up to date with the latest news from an activist movement that you support.

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Manoush Zomorodi: Unlocking Your Creative Potential with Boredom

Being bored is the worst, right? It’s a feeling that almost all of us try to avoid – and thanks to our smartphones, it’s a feeling that many of us hardly experience anymore. We check email while in an elevator, scroll through our social media feeds when our friends go to the bathroom, and binge Netflix when we can’t think of anything else to do.  But although we’re hardly ever bored with the whole internet constantly at our fingertips, our brain’s are paying a price.  According to Manoush Zomorodi’s latest book, Bored and Brilliant, being bored is a crucial part of our brain’s creative and problem-solving processes. By never being bored, we’re actually hurting our ability to think creatively and originally Read more

How to Block Apps on iPhone, A Guide

How to block an app on iPhone

HOW TO BLOCK APPS ON IPHONE

WHY YOU SHOULD BLOCK APPS ON YOUR iPHONE

Smartphones can be great, but too often they seem to control us rather than the other way around. If you’re like me, your phone is almost constantly buzzing with a variety of notifications giving you updates, messages previews, news alerts, etc. – all of which grab my attention and often steal me away from what I’m currently doing.

A quick notification letting me know someone has started a Live Story on Instagram can leave me wasting minutes and then hours scrolling through my newsfeed.  It’s a temptation that is hard to resist, and unfortunately it’s what many of these platforms are designed to do.

And once you’re distracted, research has revealed that on average it takes 23 minutes to get back on task. Another recent study also found that the mere presence of your phone – even when you’re not using it – has the ability to distract and inhibit your performance. So it’s easy to see why so many of us are having trouble focusing with all the interruptions our apps are constantly sending us.

Luckily, we’ve created a complete guide on how to block all of your most distracting apps and regain control over your iPhone.

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Cal Newport: Franklin Foer on Technology’s Surprising Threat to Humanity

Contemplating the Importance of Contemplation

Franklin Foer has a new book coming out this week. It’s titled, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big TechRead more

Caroline Raphael: Finding the Focus to Make Great Radio

At Freedom we love our users – not just because they use our product, but because they’re cool – cool people working on cool stuff. Academy Award-nominated screenwriters, best-selling authors, editors, designers, star TV actors & writers, academic researchers, explorers, and entrepreneurs – the Freedom community is packed with curious, creative, and efficient go-getters. We love to share their stories and advice, because how better to learn about productivity than from the productive?

Meet Caroline Raphael. Read more