Whether you work in an office, for yourself at home, or somewhere in between, mastering your time is the ultimate challenge. No matter what line of work you are in none of us are immune from entering an Internet wormhole only to be shaken up 45 minutes later wondering where the time went. While looking at photos of cats in Halloween costumes can be entertaining, it becomes a lot more enjoyable when you enjoy them on your own time, or after you have completed your work for the day.
It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to not click that next headline, or watch the next episode in a YouTube short series. But what if you don’t have that discipline because you just HAVE TO watch Jimmy Fallon’s next lip sync battle? What the heck are you supposed to do?
While some people swear by setting alarms on their phone, or block scheduling, I believe the best solution to beating Internet wormholes lies right within your browser window. Depending on your choice of web browser there is a free solution to help you with your wormhole problems.
Time Warp – Google Chrome
This Google Chrome add-on allows you to fight wormholes with Time Warp’s own version of a wormhole. With an extremely simple and streamlined setup, you simply add the websites that cause you the most distraction and Time Warp gives you three solutions to deal with it. First, you can simply add a redirect, so whenever you go to PirateCats.com you can redirect to a website that will actually help you (maybe your Google Calendar). Time Warp also gives you the option to display a quote instead of a redirect, so when you go to SpaceCats.com your favorite quote on productivity will remind you to get back to work. The third solution Time Warp offers (my personal favorite) is a timer. Using the timer still allows you to visit MilitaryCats.com, but it displays a very prominent timer on the page letting you know exactly how much time you are spending admiring Captain Kitty.
LeechBlock – Firefox
LeechBlock is a free Firefox extension that isn’t as slick or simple as Time Warp, but is still just as effective in defeating the Internet wormholes. LeechBlock is setup in a way in which you can block certain sites completely for specified time periods. You can get very specific with the times you want sites blocked, even down to the day of the week. What LeechBlock lacks in a simple user interface it makes up for in features. If Firefox is your browser, LeechBlock is the best free solution.
SelfControl – Safari
For Safari users, SelfControl is a great free option. With a guilty name and not a ton of bells and whistles, SelfControl gets the job done for blocking sites, but not so much for any other alternative options like Time Warp offers. Don’t be put off by the skull and crossbones icon that SelfControl showcases, it is a simple and free option for the (unfortunate) Safari users.
Avoiding Internet wormholes is all about self-control and discipline; fortunately for us who succumb to the best-dressed cats in the world, there are also these free browser add-on solutions. Did I miss your favorite free browser time saving solution? Share your favorite solution in the comments below!