Concentration is not an easy art and sometimes causes a lot of problems. This is especially noticeable visible during remote work, where we decide what and when we do it. Sometimes work is big and we looking for… something else. One moment on Facebook, one moment on YouTube, maybe we check news on Twitter and buy something on eBay? Yes, we know that – it’s a problem of procrastination. We can do anything, but not what we should. How can we deal with it? There is one, nice extension for browser called StayFocusd. And it works.
StayFocusd is an extension to Google Chrome, so you can also install it also on Opera, Vivaldi and Chrome forks. There is no version for Firefox or Safari, but there are many similar alternatives. What is the main task of this extension? It can block frequently visited websites and encourage us to back to work. May sounds weird, but works very well. Just think how much time you spend on opening extra, unnecessary cards in your browser? How many times have you visited the same site for news? Again and again… several times in a day. Yes, you can use RSS and for example Feedly, but you can still visit pages manually and treat its like a “small break”. A lot of small breaks, and work waits for you.
This extension can help you, prevent to do such things. First step is to configure StayFocusd. It’s very important, because many future changes will require time to wait – day, or several hours to apply. Why? Because you should changes “rules of the game, during game”. First setting is max allowed time per day for our breaks. Yes, it isn’t force-addon to completely stop us, it’s better and make changes in our today work slowly without big shock. Default setting is 10 minutes. Short? Believe me, it’s a lot of time to quick look of news or watch one short movie. Of course you can change something else, I decided to still use default settings and reduce this time in the future.
Second thing – active days, active hours and daily reset time. We can set active days when extension will be active and block websites, for example our working days – it’s nice solution. Active hours are supplement. We don’t need restrictions all the day, we don’t all the day, right? It’s simple to set time start and time end to calculate our wasting-time-browsing. Daily reset time is hour when StayFocusd will reset and allow us to wasting time again. In default it’s midnight and it’s ok for day work. Last important setting is blocked sites. List of websites, that browsing should decrease our allowed time. Be honest and type ALL your favorite pages non-related to work. It will work better, believe me. Important: you will be not able to change this list when your daily time expired and must wait to time reset, remember this.
Of course you can add allowed sites as exceptions – but who need exceptions, right? Extension author provided two additional settings. First is require challenge – after enable, you will must type long, difficult text in browser when you want change StayFocusd settings. Difficulty and time-consuming should discourage us to do this. Second thing is nuclear option – if you enable this… Extension will block sites for you blacklist, all websites except allowed list or whole Internet for the number of set hours. It’s something like “the ultimate solution” when you are before deadlines :) We can also set notifications (warnings) in browser, sync settings in Chrome account and export/import them. It’s simple addon.
How can I rate StayFocusd? It’s very nice. I used to visit the same sites often unnecessarily. No it isn’t problem. I can do this, but then I waste my daily-limit time and try to avoid this. StayFocusd works great and really can help us in daily work. Remember one important thing – you should use it but still think. We need work, but we also need relax time after work, regeneration and rest. Without that, every work will become a nightmare.