We’ve all been there: the ticking clock, the empty page, the mounting sense of panic even as we’re hitting refresh on that blog One. Last. Time. (Honest!)
Sometimes I even procrastinate by daydreaming about a magical land where the Internet doesn’t exist and all work is done in a dark quiet room, but where’s the fun in that?
Instead, here are a few anti-distraction programs that just might do the trick. And while they’ll, sadly, never do the work for you; at least they’ll help you cut out the excuses. Ordered below from least to most desperate:
Isolator: One thousand fascinating programs and pictures cluttering your mindscape? Maybe you’d focus on that blank page a little better without all the crap behind it. Enter Isolator which disappears all but your current window with the click of button. Install the application, click the box in your menu bar, and carry on with your work. Never fear, a second click will return your stately mess.
Write or Die: The geniuses behind this bit of evil boast about “putting the ‘prod’ in productivity.” And rightfully so. What this program lacks in artfulness, it more than makes up for in efficacy. Set your word or time goals, give yourself a consequence (ranging from “gentle” to electric shock) and a grace period, and then . . . write. If you fail to meet your goals, you’ll be punished. Oh, did we mention, keep the volume up for this one.
http://writeordie.com (scroll down a bit and keep your eyes on the right hand column for the free version)
LeechBlock: Desperate times call for desperate measures. This Firefox plugin lets you set the sites you consider to be timewasters and parameters concerning their use. Use Facebook for more than 10 minutes in an hour or check Gmail more than once every thirty minutes and WHAM! down they go. You can even tailor it with different permissions for different days of the week. And, for the truly needy, users can set a password to halt them from making changes to the program.
Now, get to work!