Websites, social media, and more can all be enormous time wasters. If you’re facing an important deadline or struggling with a tough task, using a tool to block digital distractions can help you stay focused.
So how does it work? An internet and website blocker works by blocking designated sites (or even the entire internet!) for a specified period of time. Sometimes you have to go to extremes to hone your focus. It’s a cold turkey withdrawal from all the beeps, dings, and notifications that keep you wanting more—but it’s not forever. That’s the key, knowing you can go back to it after you’ve finished the task at hand.
Certain blockers allow you to specify which sites you can still access, such as a site you need for research. You can install the blocker on all devices, including your phone, allowing you a brief reprieve from the world of social media. For some people, this works better than simply silencing their phone (especially if you want to be reachable for emergency calls).
A great one to get started with is Freedom. It can cover all your devices for less than $2.50 a month. It blocks everything—or whatever you specify—for a set amount of time (you pick the length of time). There’s something reassuring about knowing you have one hour set aside for work, but that social media will be accessible after that time (kind of like knowing you have a cigarette break in an hour, right?).
If your distractions lie within specific sites, such as Facebook, you can try StayFocused. This is an extension for Google Chrome. You set the time limits for your favorite sites; when that time is reached, the site is blocked for the rest of the day. It’s a great way to keep track of how much time you spend on social media. You might think it’s not much, but an hour or two can slip by just like that. Even though social media is fun, it’s basically death to your productivity.
Looking for more ideas to stay on top of your productivity? Check out 5 Simple Techniques to Boost Your Productivity.