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« The Final Version - first look | Main | Bethany explains it all »
Monday
Feb062012

Distraction Blocker

Jon at Distraction Blocker has just drawn our attention in the Forum to his useful little program. It basically does one of two things for those of us who are constantly getting distracted by our computers. It either blocks specified programs and websites or it blocks all programs and websites except ones specified by you. You can decide exactly how long and when the blocking applies.

It can also remind you to take a break and can even lock your keyboad and mouse so you have no choice but to take one.

One of the ideas I particularly like is that you can override the blocks if you really need to, but only by typing a long and tedious string of random characters like 6FzA-Ms8[Bt_GD}*?”DQ”e#V|zgSa~!%. You decide the number of characters you need to keep your lack of self-will at bay.

I haven’t tried this out myself yet, but it sounds as if it has the potentional to be really useful - and I’ve got a few sites in mind to try it on. No using it to block this website, mind!

See more by clicking here.

Reader Comments (5)

Nice, another clever example of a commitment device! I've been compiling a long list of them -- http://beeminder.com/commitpoll.html -- including other examples of programs like Distraction Blocker. Of course simple things like deleting games from your computer or going somewhere with no internet access, to get writing done, are also examples of commitment devices.
February 6, 2012 at 21:29 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Reeves
I've written a Tutorial which can be found here:
http://www.distractionblocker.com/DistractionBlocker-Guide.pdf
:-)
February 13, 2012 at 20:55 | Registered CommenterFocusMe
Distraction Blocker is just what I needed. Like so many people, I get working and forget to take breaks. This also prevents me from ignoring the other countdown times I have tried in the past.

Good job. Thanks.

-Bob
February 16, 2012 at 18:18 | Unregistered CommenterCoach Bob
Hi, after a little downtime.. Distraction Blocker Trials are now working again! Please try it now! :-)
http://www.distractionblocker.com
February 20, 2012 at 9:52 | Registered CommenterFocusMe
The designer of Distraction Blocker (DB), Jon, has just developed a software that can rival Freedom. Freedom completely cuts off your internet connection, but total internet blackout is not always the best solution as internet, although a source of distractions, can also make your work easier. Instead, you want to BLOCK JUST THE TIME-DRAINERS.

In comes Distraction Blocker, a program that not only blocks time-sinking websites but also programs (for example, Outlook/ThunderBird. What's the point of blocking email sites if you can sidestep them by using an email client?).

Not only does DB ban programs/sites discriminately but also allows you to take work breaks from your computer. In fact, it FORCES you to take breaks; let's be honest, very few people have enough self-discipline to take regular breaks. All in all, Jon's software is like a Swiss Army knife for the distraction junkie.
February 26, 2012 at 3:24 | Registered CommenterWarren

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