Sunday, August 22, 2010

StayFocused -- Google Chrome extension that helps restrict time on websites (Facebook in my case)

I'll admit it. I'm addicted to Facebook. I realized this about a month ago. I tried to limit myself by turning off all the email notifications on Facebook so it only sent me an email if someone wrote me a message or wrote on my wall. All the other notifications like "send me an email if I am tagged in a photo" or "send me an email if I've been poked" got turned off. It seemed like a good idea because it would reduce the useless daily emails I get and help me cut down my Facebook'ing... but for some reason it did the opposite. I ended up checking Facebook more often than I did before. Not really sure why, maybe it was because I wasn't getting any notification emails but I still knew that there was a possibility of having a notification on Facebook (so then I would log on and check). It started to get out of hand. I would get distracted by the blackhole of picture browsing and status reading. Dishes were piling up in the kitchen. Chores and errands were being set aside.
I finally had to do something. I had to seek some form of rehabilitation. So I found this tool.

It is StayFocused. It is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to set a daily amount of access time for websites. There is also access settings like "limit certain hours of the day" or "only view the website on certain days". There is also a funny setting called "Required Challenge". If you turn this on it makes you complete a challenge before you can change the settings of a website, making it harder to add more access time to a website. What I really like about this program is that any changes to the settings you make take effect 24 hours later, so if you run out of time then change the settings to have more time you will have to wait until tomorrow to get more time. Neat-o!
I know this idea isn't fool proof. If I really really wanted to procrastinate I could open up a different browser and check my Facebook, but I think this is a step in the right direction (I hope).
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