Our smartphones are excellent gadgets which enable us to complete a decent number of productive tasks. But if wrongly used, such gadgets may not measure up to the productive expectations we require of them.

With the proliferation of social media apps and websites, our chances of boosting productivity will most likely get slimmer. This is because a lot is happening on social media and if you’ve got your smartphone around you, chances are that you’ll be tempted to see what’s trending on these media.

While in the middle of a job, it isn’t a bad idea that we find out what is trending across social media. But if we aren’t careful enough, we might end up devoting extreme amounts of time to such media just at the expense of productive tasks.

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Definitely, it’s important to have some fun but when we overindulge in fun-triggering websites and apps, our jobs may suffer the consequences of the overindulgence. To save ourselves the latter situation, several tools –apps and add-ons –have been designed to help us limit the amount of time we spend on certain websites.

Based on our analysis of StayFocusd, a kind of Chrome extension, we’re very sure that the extension will prove handy for cutting back on online distractions, thereby making you more productive at work. In this post, we have succinctly reviewed StayFocusd with emphasis on the functionality of the extension as well as its associated pros and cons.

An Overview of StayFocusd

StayFocusd is a Chrome extension that works as a tool for blocking websites. Although a kind of blocker, StayFocusd considerably differs from most of the blocker apps out there.

Unlike apps that help users completely block access to certain websites, StayFocusd helps you limit the time spent on given websites or apps. It is, therefore, a proven tool for lessening your addiction towards websites that might render you less productive. With StayFocusd installed in your Chrome browser, you’re pretty sure of focusing less time on such websites and ultimately, you’ll be free from distraction while doing productive things on your smartphone.

Functionality of StayFocusd

StayFocusd lets you set timing for as many websites as you wish and you can choose to have differing timing for each website. In other words, the extension enables you to define the name of each website and specify the time limit for your use of the website.

The functionality of StayFocusd revolves around the things you can do with the extension. Above all, the extension denies you access to any given app/website once the set time (for using the app/website) elapses. You can set your desired time intervals for the blocking of websites.

While browsing a blocked website, you can see the amount of time left, making it possible for you to know how much time you’ve spent on the site. Besides, StayFocusd lets you have a feel of customized blocking, meaning you can specify the exact web content (such as text, paths, images, videos, webpages, etc.) that you intend to block.

Since you may want to discipline yourself, StayFocusd further offers the Strict Mode feature. While this feature prevents you from adjusting settings, it’s likely a proven way to stop you from changing the strict website usage you set for yourself. There is another important feature –the Lock Mode –which requires you to first input a password before you can proceed to any settings modification.

Having set up StayFocusd for your website/app usage, you may want to keep tabs on usage history. StayFocusd has the option for you to view your usage record, hence helping you see if you’re actually working towards your target. Other functionality features of StayFocusd include block notifications as well as the play-and-pause feature.

Pros of StayFocusd

On several grounds, StayFocusd proves reliable for cutting back on web usage addiction. One convincing reason for this is that the extension boasts a couple of excellent features. Some of the perks of the extension are outlined as follows:

  • StayFocusd lets you set effective limits on your app/website usage
  • The extension ultimately boosts your level of productivity
  • StayFocusd’s Strict Mode confines you to the current settings for a whole day. Strict Mode could be your lifesaver if you’re constantly tempted to change some usage settings. Perhaps, your fixed usage time for a particular website is 15 minutes but once the time elapses (and StayFocusd denies your access to the website), you’re tempted to tweak your settings and return to the website. While this situation likely renders you less productive, StayFocusd’s Strict Mode should be your lifesaver for the day. Once you switch to Strict Mode, you’re not allowed to modify the settings until the next day
  • Tracking your overall app/website usage is a lot easy as StayFocusd provides you with detailed record of app usage
  • StayFocusd encourages you to manage your time well as you can see the amount of time left for your access to a blocked site or app to elapse

Cons of StayFocusd

StayFocusd has been labeled a great extension for Chrome (browser) users to cut back on their addiction to certain apps and websites. But according to users of the Chrome-dedicated extension, a number of drawbacks are associated with the extension. Below are some of the cons of StayFocusd:

  • StayFocusd may wrongly block sites that are unrelated
  • According to a particular user, StayFocusd may redirect you to survey websites
  • The console window of the extension displays Javascript error
  • StayFocusd’s timer occasionally mistakes AM and PM for each other
  • The timing (you set for an app/website) is forced to reset when you restart your Chrome browser
  • The extension is plagued with an ad that is literally impossible to deactivate


Having read this post from the start to the end, you really don’t need anyone to further stress that StayFocusd would be a great way for Chrome (browser) users to appropriately limit their use of social media and other online distractions. Although the Chrome extension comes with its own share of cons, the listed pros outweigh the cons.

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