Don't let all the apps for to-do lists and schedulers fool you: While your phone can be used as a tool for productivity, more often than not it's a source of distraction. Turns out, there's a surprising way to solve this issue—by downloading yet another app.
As reported by TechCrunch, the Flipd app was released for iOS this week after launching for Android a year ago. To use it, smartphone owners can set a "casual lock" that encourages them to set down their phones for a set amount of time. A timer counts down the minutes until your lock will be released while also logging your time spent being productive. And if for some reason you can't wait another minute to check your Instagram, the lock can be paused for 10 seconds at a time. If you don't put down your phone before the 10 seconds are up, you lose all the productive time you've banked. The casual lock also offers a 60-second window of free time that users can redeem at any point for extended phone browsing.
For the professional procrastinators among us, this may sound like child's play. In that case, there's also the "full lock" option, which users can choose to completely hide Safari and all third-party apps from their screen. Once the time you set runs out, all your apps will return to your screen (but, unfortunately, not to their original locations).
Flipd isn't alone in the productivity-enhancing app landscape. Flowstate pushes users to keep writing by threatening to delete their work if they stop typing for too long. There's also StayFocused, a Chrome extension that boosts productivity by allowing users to set the amount of time they are allowed to surf the web. When it comes to staying focused, sometimes technology can be used for good.