With the introduction of iOS 6 Apple add a feature to their iPads and iPhones that had been an incredible aid to me. It’s called Guide Access and most people ignore their existence and power.
Apple defines this feature for people with vision, hearing, learning, and mobility disabilities, but honestly, people that need more focus can use this app to their advantage. Basically you can limit your iOS device to one app and as a bonus, you can disable the Home button and Siri. In other words unless I type a password, there is no iOS access for me. That it is a great idea!
First you need to go to Settings, then click in General, then Accessibility and finally click Guide Access. (That it is cleverly classified as Learning)
After you activate you just set a passcode, open the application you are going to work on (Byword most of the time for me) and hit the Home button 3 times.
You will then be able to disable touch, hardware buttons and/or motion. I don’t mess with any of those, I just need Guide Access to keep me long enough in Byword to get into the writer mood. Then press Start and begin the writing work.
Every time that my distracted brain try to exit, I get a reminder that “Guide Access” is enable. If you hit the Home Button three times, you will be prompt to enter the passcode you set before, but all those actions are more than enough to stop me from distracting and force myself back to task.
Do I need to use this feature for write every day? No, but I used much more than what I am going to admit in writing. It is the beginning of the writing session what it is hard for me, a soon as I get into the words, I can stay… but those first ten to fifteen minutes are a challenge many days.
For the people that like numbers, output had been increased in more than 30% since I begin using this trick. This wouldn’t stop me for go to other applications, but will help me to stay in focus. In productivity most of the time, if works for a two year old, will work for ourselves.