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Focus for the next 30 minutes or a tree dies

Forest: A new app on the scene that gamifies your productivity level. Seems silly, but if nothing else has worked, it’s worth a shot!

Procrastination can be so inviting

If there’s something that people love to do, it’s to avoid their responsibilities. While this is not something practiced frequently by everyone, I have to admit that I enjoy indulging in the art of procrastination every once in a while.


It is so much more attractive to put off something boring by engaging in something more appealing, like watching every episode of House of Cards in one weekend. Now with the availability of our handy little smartphones, it’s easier now than ever to find ways to distract yourself.

We all do it

And, it’s nothing to feel guilty about as I, and many others I know, find myself mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Twitter at least once every waking hour. This is particularly alluring when I am being put to sleep while working on something mundane.

However, in situations like these, people often benefit from incentive. It is easier to push ourselves to do something we don’t want to if there is a reward at the finish line (this very thing happened this morning when I pushed myself to run an extra mile so that I could eat a giant blueberry muffin, sans guilt).

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Stay focused, be present

It’s simple: If there is a reward or some other factor that pushes us to challenge ourselves, we are more likely to stay focused. Now, there is an incentive to keep us from checking our phones every 12 seconds.

The new app Forest aims to make smartphone users “stay focused” and “be present”. The app is designed to keep you away from your phone while focusing on a task (and it’s totally adorable for friends of the environment).

Build a forest #gamification

When you sit down to start a task, open the Forest app and plant a “tree”.  While you are working, the tree will begin to grow. If you leave the app to check something else, the tree will die.

To clarify, no real trees will be harmed in the utilization of Forest – they’re not really playing hardball. As you continue to stay on track with your tasks, the app will develop a forest for you.

One tree = 30 minutes of work

Each tree symbolizes 30 minutes of distraction-free work. The tree only dies if you exit the app within the first 30 minutes.

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Forest is operable for both mobile and desktop format. Downloads are available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome, and Firefox.


Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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