Article 74: Leechblock

Leechblock (AKA How to Get Stuff Done)

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, to another edition of the Modern Nerd. This week I have a cool productivity tool for you, designed to get stuff done. We’ve all been there. You are crunched for time, you have to finish something, but that pesky internet browser just keeps popping itself back up. The email, the social media, YouTube, there is always something more to do, right? Why would you want to go back to work when the Internet is happening right now?

All levity aside, there are a myriad of sites and apps that conspire to rob your work day of productivity. Now, the internet also has some tools to help you take some of it back. Whether you are hanging out at the library or working from your home desk, you can look over your own shoulder with Leechblock, a free extension for your Firefox browser.

Like a time-travelling you, who thanks you

Leechblock is an internet nanny. It takes a list of your favorite time-wasting sites and asks you how long you would like to block them for.  The app makes sure that a friendly reminder will pop up and tell you to get back to work. Now research, homework, projects, and reports get done.

You can set timeframes where the internet is off limits, allow yourself some break times, and set a password that is required to open and change settings to the blocker. There are some great features like setting specific days, setting custom lists of sites to block at different times, and customizing  how your browser treats the blocked pages in the history.

Not a Firefox Guy?

Well not to worry, my Chrome aficionados. Chrome’s Web Store has spawned a spinoff that was endorsed by the developers of LeechBlock after there was no other viable option for the Chrome platform. It is called Nanny for Google Chrome, and like Leechblock, is available for free.

Below is the website where Leechblock can be found. And the Modern Nerd would like to give a shoutout to the Art of Manliness blog, which introduced me to this tool last month. While I am out of college, I have passed this tip along to friends who still are, and I am considering making it part of my work regimen.

Thanks for reading everyone. Catch all of the latest from the Computer Fixer on Facebook and through our mailing list.


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