Technology brings the best and worst inventions in the world. With that being said, I think it is safe to assume that everyone has dealt with the problem of getting distracted from the task at hand by email, Facebook, Twitter or what have you. As a college student around finals time, I find it hard not to procrastinate by doing any of the above to get away from studying. On top of that, having internet access at my finger tips while at work makes things even worse. Thankfully, as the saying goes, “there’s an app for that”.
This amazing weapon against procrastination is called SelfControl, an application that wards off temptation from incoming and outgoing mail servers and websites for a predetermined period of time. It allows you to create a “blacklist” of sites you want blocked from your computer for 15 minutes or even 24 hours. For example, you can set SelfControl to block Facebook and Pinterest for 60 minutes but still have access to the rest of the web.
Once started, it cannot be undone by the application or by restarting the computer, so make sure you’re ready before you hit start! The application requires PPC/Intel or Mac OS X 10.5 or later. The newest version, 1.3 was released in 2010 and has an automatic checkup safety system to eliminate permablocks, 24 hour blocking, and user-settable block duration intervals to change the total time and time intervals of the blacklist.
Other applications such as Freedom, ColdTurkey, Spirited Away, Vitamin-R, Concentrate, RescueTime, FlexTime, and Add-Art can also be helpful to reduce distractions. These applications block all internet access for set periods of time (if you really mean business), block access to distracting sites, automatically hide windows not in use, hide applications, and even replace online advertising with art. So if you’re as easily distracted by advertising and social networks as I am, jump on the bandwagon and download this software!
- SelfControl Application and Blacklist