Plugging the productivity drains

WATCHES[1] Fellow freelancers probably know how working from home without a rigid schedule may sometimes tempt you to slack off. But on the other hand, you still have deadlines, and you get paid based on results, so you have to keep yourself productive and motivated. Working on a self-managed schedule may be the dream of many people, but sometimes it is not as easy as you might imagine. Discipline and willpower are important qualities, and you need at least a little bit of them in order to pull it off.

The Internet is a notorious time waster. Probably everyone has at least one favorite website that has the power of swallowing them in a vortex of doing absolutely nothing. Watching funny videos of cats? In terms of productivity and self-development that amounts to doing nothing. Reading web comics? Nothing. Catching up on celebrity gossip? Totally pointless. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with wasting time, especially if you’re having fun. But when you have to work, you have to work.

And when your work itself requires you to be on the Internet, you can’t just unplug your router to get an instant productivity boost. You could rely on willpower alone to stop you from taking a peek at the time-wasting parts of the web, but after all we’re only human. We cannot always resist temptation. However, being human also means that we have brains and we have technology!

Ah, the power of technology. That is what I actually use to help me stay focused on the task. In my case, it is a Firefox extension called LeechBlock. In the words of its author: “LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool: an extension for the Firefox web browser designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. (You know: the ones that rhyme with “Blue Cube”, “Space Hook”, “Sticky Media”, “Quitter”, and the like.) All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.”

That is my advice. LeechBlock is good. If you’re a Firefox user who is guilty of wasting too much time on certain websites, you should try it! I would write more about it, but I have work to do, so you have to see its features for yourself. Sorry, no time to waste! 🙂

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