There has been a massive surge in the use and dependence on the Internet for the past few years, especially the last few months because of the global pandemic and lockdown regulations. Due to the lockdown, most people have switched to “Work from Home” schedules, and working from your home is impossible if you don’t have a decent PC/laptop and fast internet. On one hand, the lockdown has allowed employees worldwide to conveniently work from home, but on the other hand, this has also thrown their work-life balance out of the window. It has even made it harder for people to detach from their PC/laptop, especially their web browsers.
Your web browser could hamper your work. It could either overwhelm you with digital clutter or could divert your attention away from work with platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Sometimes, the best thing to do would be to step away from your desk, which isn’t easy when there are so many things on your screen to hold your attention.
Here are a few ways you can take a break from work WHILE not letting go of that concentration and returning back to work within no time –
Break Mode by Vivaldi Browser
A lesser-known internet browser, Vivaldi has come up with its own solution for this problem, by letting you put a pause on your current work.
Its “Break Mode” feature will pause your internet. Instead of exiting the browser or minimizing it when you’re going to take a break, you can just click on the special icon on the lower left-hand corner of the screen and it’ll turn every tab into a blank slate while it’ll also stop any music or videos playing on the webpage.
It will even temporarily erase your Bookmarks list, History, Downloads, and everything else in the side panel. You will not be able to interact with anything on the screen, aside from closing tabs, until you’ve “unpaused” the browser.
Freedom for Mac or Windows
Freedom is another great tool that blocks any distracting apps and websites so that you can concentrate on your work or break depending on the situation. It is an all-in-one distraction blocker that’ll help you out, whether your distractions are over-indulging in work, YouTube and other entertainment websites, or the entire internet. Freedom will let you have total control over your attention.
It is the only internet blocker that will sync block across all of your devices. Using Freedom Premium, you’ll be able to add unlimited devices and blocklists and focus more on your work.
Forest is an exciting app that’ll encourage you to plant trees virtually instead of visiting YouTube, Facebook, and other distracting websites while on your break. One of the oldest yet most creative apps in the market, users have always loved Forest’s behavioral approach to making people use their phones less.
However, Forest doesn’t actually block anything, it just encourages you to put your phone down or not waste your precious break time on entertainment sites like YouTube. You may think of this as negative but merely encouraging someone not to do something can often work. Once you put down your phone and start growing virtual trees, you’ll get positive feedback on the time you’ve spent away from the distraction and within no time you’ll be ready to get back to work.
Pause is a great extension by Freedom for Google Chrome users. It’ll challenge you to momentarily pause and reflect before you visit a distracting website. This way, Pause will break the cycle of distraction and help you be more focused, intentional, and productive with your use of technology.
If you’re loading a distracting website during your break, Pause will create an interruption by displaying a calming green screen for a few seconds. After pausing, you can choose if you want to continue on that website. This interruption caused by Pause will gently nudge you to make intentional, better-informed decisions about how you’ll spend your break.
Most people are bad at stepping away from their computers, especially during this pandemic era. You log on to YouTube or Facebook and before you even know it, a 15-min break turns into a 55-min break. Some people even start playing games during their break and it is an even worse idea. Your brain gets bombarded with images and icons, which affects your post-break work session. Using the above-mentioned methods, you’ll be able to be more efficient and more effective with your work from home sessions as these methods will not just remind you to take breaks but they’ll also help you take real breaks where you turn off your brain for a while and don’t overwhelm yourself. They all have unique features so you should definitely give them a try and have a better work-life balance.