Last week David explored some ways to eliminate distractions while studying, I’m here to add another tool to your arsenal. Concentrate from Rocket Software ( is an OS X application that allows you to block certain applications and domains depending on the context you are working in (GTD much?). Allow me to give an example. When it’s time to study, I simple choose the Study action that I’ve configured in Concentrate. The app then closes Tweetie, NetNewsWire and blocks Facebook, Digg and You have complete control over what actions the app performs in each context, just drag actions from over from the library in the context edit menu. Concentrate sets a timer for the activity you are performing and displays the time left in the menubar. Once the time runs down, your locked apps and domains are liberated.

There’s nothing stopping you from ending the timer prematurely so that you can creep around Facebook, but the small nudge Concentrate gives you is usually enough to keep you focused. 

Concentrate is a paid application at $29.00, but the demo version is hindered only by a 60 hour use limit. I’ve set a personal goal to use up my 60 hours by the end of this semester’s exam period. I challenge you to do the same. 

Similar applications exist for those in the Windows world, but none are as elegant as Concentrate. Sorry. 

Give it a shot, post your experience in the comments.

Happy cramming, er… studying!