In an interesting editorial in today’s Los Angeles Times, author Katherine Ellison mentioned a couple of tools to help people who are distracted by the lures of the internet while trying to work on their computers. She wrote a book about being a mom diagnosed with ADD, and has recently come to realize that she gets especially distracted by all the wonderful things we can find on the computer. Not only that, so many of those wonderful things now come directly to us in the form of e-mail and social networking alerts. By the time we check all of our Facebook, LinkedIn, e-mail, IM’s, and all the other social site messages that come to us, our work time may be used up.
To the rescue comes Fred Stutzman, a Ph.D. candidate at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science, where he studies social media. He has developed to handy computer applications, called Freedom and Anti-Social. These very inexpensive programs allow you to set your computer to block either all the Internet for a set period of time (Freedom), or specifically social networking sites (Anti-Social). Take a look at his blog, and see what you think about them.