Many apps are designed to measure your speed and productivity, rewarding you when you go faster. But there are a few apps that encourage you to slow down. Living contributor Laura Mitchell tested the Stop, Breathe & Think app and provides her review here.
I tested Stop, Breathe & Think for two months, and I will continue to use it. It is a cheerful, unassuming app that doesn’t require a lot of up-front data entry or bombard you with ongoing alerts and reminders. Developed as a tool for students to help them reconnect with their classmates and teachers and strengthen their ability to focus on their studies, Stop, Breathe & Think is also an effective way for adults to make the most of a short break.
Checking in with Stop, Breathe & Think begins with answering the question, “How are you?” The app asks how you are mentally, physically and emotionally, allowing you to choose multiple emotions from a range of nearly 100 easy-to-navigate options.
Once you have entered your current state, the app offers you three relevant guided meditations that vary in length. It also offers a self-meditation option.
I found it very helpful to do a short meditation before beginning an important task at work. Regardless of the data I entered on checking in, doing the short meditation resulted in improved focus afterward. After using the app for about a month, I also found myself taking a few deep, mindful breaths before beginning important tasks on days that I didn’t check in with the app, so its benefits continued indirectly. Although the app is designed to help users slow down, I found it resulted in better focus and, therefore, higher productivity.
Test duration: 2 months
Purpose: Slow down, relax and refocus
Sharing options: Facebook, Twitter, email
Display: Easy to read and navigate, with both mobile (iOS/Android) and desktop interfaces
Challenges: The idea of increasing productivity by slowing down is counterintuitive and takes some getting used to.
Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the contributor. This review is simply a snapshot of the user experience and is not based on scientific data.