No-Fail(Blog) Ways to Stay on Task

Litres of digital ink have been spilled about productivity – how we achieve it, how we measure it, how we can improve it – but how can we be expected to just resist the temptation of inappropriate, laugh-out-loud posts from FailBlog? Productivity tools, like software for managing business expenses will help, but combine them with website blockers and you’ll have a nice little cocoon within which you can keep on working distraction-free.

It’s easy to set yourself some limits, and with a lighthearted message, companies can encourage their employees to do so without seeming to micromanage or mistrust their workers, which can have a negative effect on morale.

Here are a few easy-to-use tools that will keep you from interruptions.

LeechBlock: This Firefox add-on lets you create sets of domains to block at different times of day. In the Add-Ons menu, use the tabs to specify the domains, days, times, and blocking methods you want and set it to go. Next time you try to sneak a peek at Facebook, you will get the helpful “Site Blocked” message. Your cheat, of course, is that you can switch browsers, so for this to really work, you should have easy access to only one browser.

Self-Control: This one is for Macs only and it is seriously strict. Once you’ve hit the Start button on your blocked site, you absolutely will not be able to access that site no matter what – you could even restart your machine and it will still be blocked.

ColdTurkey: Works across every browser you have installed, so you can’t cheat by switching. The interface is easy to navigate, and the Pro version includes a grid scheduler and application blocker, so say goodbye to Candy Crush as well. You don’t have to restart for the changes to take effect, just launch, list your no-no sites, and get back to work already.

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