If can be completely honest, I probably could have started writing this article much sooner than I actually did. I’ve always had a slight problem with putting off till tomorrow what I could do today. And since tech is my thing, I knew there had to be some tools out there to help. So if you’re also one of those people who always wait till the last minute, read on for a great idea that might just get you going.
Psychologists have uncovered a myriad of reasons for why people procrastinate. Fears of failure, fear of success, or an obsession with perfectionism are just a few of the explanations for why we drag our feet. An aversion to confrontation could be blamed when you need to tell someone bad news. Personally, I think I somewhat arrogantly presume I can do anything and then get caught off guard when I’ve completely underestimated the amount of time needed to finish the task. But in my opinion, there is also one other, more sinister reason we can’t stay focused on our goals – being constantly distracted by technology.
When you think about how technology throws us off track, there is no bigger, more evil distraction monster than social media (well at least for me anyway). I start out with the best of intentions, devoting myself to my laptop in hopes of being uber-productive that day. And then it happens; I’m scrolling through Twitter in the name of “research” and before you know it, an hour has passed. Or, I’ll allow myself a short “break” and 45 minutes later, I’m still on Facebook looking at wedding photos. So now when I really need to focus time and attention to a project, I just go cold turkey.
StopDistractions is software you can download that prevents you from visiting certain sites for a specified amount of time. You can personalize the list of sites, adding or removing them as necessary, and set countdown timers for a designated period of productivity. So if you know you need to do online research, but want to stay away from Pinterest, you can block access to that site for as long as you need to in order to get the job done.
It might seem a bit ridiculous to pay good money for something you should be able to do yourself, but we’re only human. Sometimes you just can’t say no to that second helping of dessert, you can’t put out those cigarettes once and for all, and maybe you need a little help focusing your attention when you’re online. There’s nothing wrong with using the technology we have available to us in the name of better productivity. Ok, well I guess I should get back to work now…
StopDistractions costs $9.99 and works with PC and Mac.
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