Let’s agree to the fact that while working, we all get distracted by social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. At one moment we are working and at another moment, we are wasting our time facebooking. Technology can have positive effects and negative effects also if used unwisely.
In many offices, social networking sites are banned. Well, they have an advantage but what about those people who can access these sites anytime and anywhere. Browsing these time pass websites can be addictive and can waste much of our valuable time. Have you ever thought to block these distracting sites? If you have then here are 6 useful tools that will help you limit time spent on such websites. These tools can help block time wasting sites by staying focused on work and thereby increases productivity.
Block Distracting Websites Using These Tools (For Windows, Mac and Linux)
1. Blocker: If you’re using Google Chrome web browser to surf sites, then here is a neat extension. Blocker can block access to certain pre-defined websites and gives you time to focus on work.
Go ahead and create your own list of blocked URLs. Once the list is complete, click on the lock icon in the toolbar and get to work. After the work is done, you can unlock those sites by entering a randomly generated 15 character case-sensitive alpha-numeric key. Yes, unlocking comes at a price as those 15 characters are not any dictionary words, they are just random characters.
2. FocalFilter: FocalFilter is a free tool for Windows OS. It helps you to focus on work by temporarily blocking distracting websites. Using this freeware is very simple. Run the setup, choose the sites that you want to block, configure how long they should be blocked for and start working.
After the block timer runs out, your websites are available for you to view again. When adding sites, ensure that you don’t miss the www. You would also need Microsoft’s .NET Framework version 4 to run this program. Focalfilter can work with every web browser, so there’s no need to install different add-ons or extensions for different browsers.
3. LeechBlock: LeechBlock is a Firefox extension. This tool is developed to block those time-wasting sites. Specify which sites to block, when to block and how to block. There are many options that you can configure as per your wish.
LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them. You can create upto six sets of sites to block.
You can block sites within fixed time periods (e.g., between 10am and 6pm), after a time limit (e.g., 15 minutes in every hour), or with a combination of time periods and time limit. And that’s not all, you can also set a password to access to the extension options, just to slow you down. The sites to block can also be specified using wildcards (e.g., *.somesite.com).
4. SelfControl: SelfControl is an OS X application which blocks access to websites and incoming and/or outgoing mail servers for a predetermined period of time. For example, you could block access to your facebook, email and twitter for 60 minutes, but still have access to the rest of the web.
The timer once started, can not be stopped by the application or by restarting the computer. The only solution would be to wait for the timer to run out. That’s why its better to decide first about the timing and then start the timer.
5. StayFocusd: StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites.
Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day. It is highly configurable, allowing you to block or allow entire sites, specific subdomains, specific pages, specific paths, even specific in-page content (games, videos, images, etc).
6. Self Control for Ubuntu: Now something for Linux fans out there. If you’re using Linux, then here is the “self control” for Ubuntu OS. Named after the same Mac application, it allows you to block access to incoming websites and mail servers for a specified amount of time, so that you don’t get distracted and focus on work.
If you’re thinking that I will end this application, then this is of no use. Quitting, deleting the application or even restarting the application won’t work. So the conclusion we can get from this is that you will need to wait for the timer to run out.
These tools, add-ons and extensions will help you to temporarily block/disable websites and get back to work. There are always ways of cheating yourself and that’s where these tools can come to use.