4 Apps and Extensions to Help You Beat Procrastination

September 15, 2014 • Devin Partida


Have you ever gotten the feeling that you would be a more productive worker if you could just sit down and…work? With the advent of the smartphone and the ability to have the entire internet in your pocket at all times, the temptation to put work off after a little more online browsing has never been stronger. But as much as it might kill your productivity some of the time, there are apps for procrastination that you can put on your phone to help you stop procrastinating, and actually buckle down and get something done. Here are four apps to help you do it:

1. Productivity Owl

Productivity Owl

If you find yourself taking a short break just to check some scores or some headlines, but find yourself mired in a window with twenty tabs left to read a half-hour later, then Productivity Owl can help. You tell this Chrome Extension what your biggest time wasting websites are and it gives a set amount of time you can be on them before it closes them out for you.

Of course, for extensions like this, the key is to actually have the extension enabled all of the time, but Productivity Owl encourages you not to uninstall it the first time you want to stay on a page longer. The extension has a “save for later” feature that allows you to go back and check out a site during some of the free time the extension lets you schedule. Plus, if you try to interfere with the owl closing one of your pages, he screeches at you. That’s some of the negative reinforcement you need to bust your procrastination habits.

2. White Noise

White Noise

Maybe your problem isn’t that you can’t stop yourself from seeking out distractions, but that distractions keep finding you. Whether it’s annoying construction, a co-worker who loves playing their radio a little too loudly or the just too much small talk happening around your workspace, noise can be a serious distraction and a real excuse to procrastinate. That’s where White Noise, a Chrome extension and an app for Android, comes in.

The concept is simple enough. White Noise generates a soothing buzz of background noise that blocks out other unwanted noises and allows you to focus. They’ve even got gray, brown, pink, blue and violet noise available if the humming buzz of white doesn’t suit your fancy.

3. Chime


Checking social media is probably the biggest way people derail their productivity these days. One glance to see if somebody messaged you back on Facebook can lead to a couple hours wasted just scrolling through your newsfeed. And, when you exhaust one social media platform, you still have all the others waiting for you. They’re pretty much the definition of a time suck.

That’s where Chime comes in. Chime is a Chrome extension that aggregates all of your notifications from all of your social media sites in one place. It’s a fast way to check everything at once and get back to work without getting dragged into the inevitable distractions that come from actually visiting all of the sites. Best of all, it has a do not disturb feature, so when you really get into a work flow, you won’t have any distractions at all.

4. Finish


One thing anyone should have who is trying to beat procrastination is a to-do list. Finish is an app that works way better than a couple dozen post-it notes stuck to your monitor can. Finish allows you to categorize whatever it is you have to get done in three categories: short-term, mid-term and long-term. You can set how many days you need for each category and the app will send you notifications as deadlines approach. They automatically switch from long to mid to short as time progresses, so you don’t have to think about reorganizing your to-do lists for each passing day. Though few things approach being able to cross an item off of a pen and paper to-do list, the swipe and clicking of a checkmark on Finish does come close.

If you want to beat your procrastination, try downloading one of these helpful apps.