Focusing with ‘Forest’

Trinity term is here, and whilst for some this spells punts, Pimms, and never missing a Bridge Thursday – for most, it’s exam season. For the finalists amongst you, you’ve (probably) been stuck in the library for a long enough stint to drive you a little stir crazy, and focus levels are lapsing. It’s extremely difficult to resist the urge to scroll mindlessly through your Facebook feed, with the hope of temporarily breaking the monotony of the day’s library session.

As appealing as your revision notes on The Reformation may be, Lemonade just dropped, and the world is reacting – and your Twitter feed is BUZZING. There are plenty of sites around that can help you reduce your levels of procrastination, by locking you out of certain websites for a given period of time, with no way of reversing the decision until the given period of time is up. Though an aid in utilising your computer more effectively during study time, these gadgets have forgotten one crucial thing.

If, like me, you are married to your phone, these sites do little to discipline you.  A quirky little app has come up with a creative way to lock you out of your own phone, with the intention of curbing your temptation to check it for no reason but to procrastinate. The ‘Forest’ app, is a nifty little game in which your goal is to create your own forest, through planting trees (stay with me).

To plant a tree, you set the timer to the length of time you wish to lock yourself out of your phone, and if you close the app or attempt to do anything with your phone, your tree dies. Oddly satisfying, and deliciously addictive, the more trees you successfully plant, the more populated your forest. The app allows you to connect with Facebook in order to compete with your friends on the number of minutes of ‘concentration’ you’ve achieved every day. The more trees you plant, the more virtual coins you gain. With these coins, users can plant real trees around the world.

The environmentally conscious app is partnered with Trees for the Future, helping plant trees all over the world. Previous partner, WeForest, with the help of the app, planted over 7,500 real trees in India and Zambia. Of course, the app is no miracle worker. If you’re the staring into space kind, this isn’t going to stop you. It does however appeal to the competitive side and allows you to set realistic work goals of your own choosing, to give studying a sort of routine or rhythm, with of course, the added bonus of you doing your bit to save the world. Available on iPhone and Android, the Forest app might just provide you with that much needed discipline and make you slightly less liberal with your study breaks.