As a college student, my only real obligation right now is to myself. My days consist of education, working, going out, planning for the future, and it is all for me, me and me.
But despite my life being totally dedicated to myself right now, I don’t always act in my best interests. For example, I have a lot of work, for both school and my job, this week. Yet, I find myself browsing Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook endlessly. If I stop actively concentrating on work, my fingers have already tabbed open Facebook without my permission.
All hope is not lost for me though. There’s this nifty little app called “Self Control,” and it’s rightly named because I can blacklist my temptation sites for hours and it will not let me back on. The computer that once destroyed my productivity is now enforcing it … (I’m sorry, is my privilege showing? How embarrassing).
If you have productivity issues too, you may benefit from some technological guidance. Here is my list of web and mobile apps to help save you from yourself:
Focusing on your work: the trusty Self Control app. I use this one often because I literally have none when it comes to doing something I should do. I know my main weaknesses, though: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Netflix, Hulu, and some shopping sites. I add all of these to my blacklist and start the timer.
Weight loss goals: Dietbet advertises itself as a new “social dieting” program. It’s a game you can join or create between you and friends. Everyone contributes money to a pot, and at the end of the period everyone who lost 4 percent of his or her starting weight gets to split the pot. It offers a reward for completing your goal, a consequence if you don’t, and community support for meeting the goal. I have yet to use this app, mostly because I’m afraid of the money I would lose from not actually meeting goals. However, if you’re serious about losing weight, this could prove to be a profitable app for you.
Waking up on time: the Time is Money app for Android, where you literally pay for oversleeping. The app is free, but after the alarm goes off you must prove you’re awake by sorting a list. If you do not complete the “awake-person” task, they charge you per minute and take the money from your bank account. The biggest issue reviewers seem to have? Actually losing the money. I don’t know about you guys, but symbolic loss just isn’t enough for me.
Not calling that person: DrunkBlocker prevents drunk you from making contact with people that sober you knows are a bad idea. You know you shouldn’t be talking to someone, and sometimes you need to take preemptive measures to avoid doing so when drinking softens your frontal lobes.
Budgeting yourself: Sometimes I’m really good with budgeting myself, and other times I pay my rent, credit card, utility, buy groceries, and realize I literally don’t have more than $2 to my name until my next paycheck. For those stressful financial times, I’ve found that it can be really helpful to see where everything is going. Mint is a personal finance app that can link all of your electronic financial information together and help you budget. You can enter how much you make, what bills you have, allot some funds for recreational activities, and it will graphically show you how much money you have left for the month.
In an ideal world, the biggest threat to our well-being wouldn’t be our own lack of self-control. But obviously this world is not ideal, because I still have class at 9 a.m., Mediacom turns off the Internet on snow days, and I am my own worst enemy. First world problems, right?
Seriously, though, if anyone is interested in creating an app that combines all of the above functions into one, call me. I already have an idea for the name: Socially Acceptable Life Bot.
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