Freedom is a word that means different things to different people. Some may view it in a political context, where they see freedom as the right to vote for particular ideas or people. Others may see it in a financial context, where they seek to free themselves of debt or bad credit. And some may simply see it as the ability to block distractions and get work done on time.
Orlando Patterson, a Harvard historical sociologist, has argued that the idea of freedom is actually three-fold. The first is the idea of freedom from, which is the civil liberties version of freedom. The second is the idea of freedom to, which is how we build our own political community and participate in it. And the third is the idea of freedom to enslave, which he says goes back all the way to Athenian democracy.
What all of this reveals is that the idea of freedom is really a spectral illusion, something that you can never truly grasp but will always be wrenched out from under you. And this is perhaps most apparent in the way we use apps to help us be more productive. There are a lot of them out there, but one that has been getting a lot of attention lately is Freedom. This app blocks websites and distracting apps on your device to make it easier to focus and get work done.
The idea behind this app is that you can set up specific times to block certain sites and apps so that you have the space needed to get your work done. This is especially helpful for those who struggle with procrastination or have a hard time focusing when they are trying to work on a deadline. The app works by installing a VPN profile that can block access to websites and apps. The process is very simple and only takes a few moments. After it is finished, you can select when you want the session to end and what kind of work you are trying to do.
When you start up the app, it will ask you to enter your name and email address before moving onto the set up page which has just two questions about how you plan on using the app and what devices you are planning to install it on. From there you can choose to start a block-time straight away, schedule one for later or set up a recurring session.
Once you have created your sessions, the app will then run in the background and you can control it from the online dashboard. The online dashboard also allows you to check your history and add notes to sessions. The only downside is that if you quit the app during a session, it will instantly unlock all of the blocked sites and apps. This can be a little bit frustrating at times. However, if you are able to stay disciplined, the app is definitely worth checking out.