Mac Format - - IMPROVE | MAC APPS -

Back­ground chat­ter

Work­ing from home can be a lonely ex­pe­ri­ence, but Noizio (free from can give you a sense of com­pan­ion­ship and pre­vent the si­lence driv­ing you to dis­trac­tion. Choose from re­lax­ing waves on a beach, sooth­ing rain­storms or the gen­tle back­ground chat­ter of a busy cafe. It’s sur­pris­ingly ef­fec­tive at keep­ing your mind on the job, and you can also play your iTunes at the same time.

Grab some Cof­fi­tiv­ity

Cof­fi­tiv­ity per­forms a sim­i­lar func­tion to Noizio, but as well as a regular Mac app it can be run from the browser, so you can ben­e­fit from its back­ground chat­ter while you’re hot-de­sk­ing. You can choose from three cof­feeshop sound­tracks at cof­fi­tiv­ or go pre­mium to dou­ble that num­ber (in­clud­ing a so­phis­ti­cated Parisian op­tion). Apps for iOS and An­droid let you tune in to cafe cul­ture when away from your net con­nec­tion, too.

Dis­trac­tion-free word pro­ces­sor

Word and Pages are great for putting to­gether highly for­mat­ted doc­u­ments, but it’s al­ways tempt­ing to spend as much time play­ing with fonts and sizes as it is to ac­tu­ally write your doc­u­ment. Re­move the temp­ta­tion to fid­dle with the look of your file un­til you’ve fin­ished writ­ing it by switch­ing to a min­i­mal­ist text edi­tor such as Typed (real­mac­soft­

Slim down the Dock

Take non-vi­tal apps such as Twit­ter, Mes­sages and games out of the Dock and you’ll be less tempted to click on them. Op­tion­ally, re­move Ap­pli­ca­tions from Spot­light re­sults too, by open­ing the Spot­light pane in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences and uncheck­ing the box be­side Ap­pli­ca­tions on the Search Re­sults tab, to put them an­other step fur­ther from your regular work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Con­trol your­self

If slim­ming the Dock doesn’t work, set up a new user ac­count (through the Users pane in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences) and then use Parental Con­trols (also in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences) to limit ap­pli­ca­tion and web ac­cess. Se­lect the new user ac­count, click Web and then se­lect the ra­dio but­ton be­side Al­low Ac­cess to only see cho­sen web­sites. Use the list be­low it to spec­ify a small num­ber of es­sen­tial sites, or re­move all sites from the list al­to­gether.

Ap­ply a router block

Fi­nally, if you still find your­self cheat­ing, con­sider block­ing in­ter­net ac­cess at your router. Most al­low you to set a sched­ule dur­ing which in­ter­net ac­cess should be un­avail­able – it’s de­signed so you can re­strict chil­dren’s us­age. Be care­ful when tak­ing such a dras­tic step, though, as it will block ac­cess for ev­ery­one on your net­work and any iOS de­vices con­nected to the in­ter­net over Wi-Fi.

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