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Avoiding the Lure of The Internet

There is no doubt that the internet has revolutionised science by making information freely available. But when it comes to actually getting work done, the internet can be a problem.

With all of that lovely information available right at your fingertips it’s easy to get sucked into surfing when you are trying to work.

Here are 5 ways to avoid the lure of the internet and stay efficient

1. Leechblock is a Firefox extension that will block access to any website for any period you specify. So you can block all of those sites that suck up your time, or schedule a set time each day where you can view them. You could allow access to your favorite news sites only during your lunch hour, for example.

2. Temptation blocker is a bit more of a blunt instrument than Leechblock. It allows you to lock yourself out of applications for a set amount of time – so you could use it to block your browser, games, email or whatever is distracting you. If you need to get back into the application before the time is up you can, but the program makes you type in a 32-digit alphanumeric code as a disincentive before unblocking the program.

3. Deleting all bookmarks to websites that eat up your time is a simple way to make it more difficult to navigate to your favorite time-consuming site. But that can be a bit drastic as sometimes you might just want to surf. Alternatively you could use Firefox’s multiple profile capabilities to create one profile for work and one for play.

4. Mozilla’s Prism, is an intriguing piece of software that allows you to run web applications you use/need often as if they were on your desktop. So there is no need to actually open a browser, meaning less opportunity for distractions.

5. Lo-tech options include unplugging/switching your wireless off while working, using pen and paper instead of a computer and exercising some self control!

How do you avoid online distractions? Let us know in the comments.

1 Comment

  1. serenity on May 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I’ve used 8aweek.com and that was pretty helpful; it also logs your time on sites and you get a real * shocking * picture of how much time you waste on those distracting sites.

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