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How The Internet Can Help You Stop Wasting Time On The Internet


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Love this. The internet provides its own babysitters... How about this...If I goof off, I'll be working till midnight. I can tell myself that. 

Wait, so we USE the Internet to get ourselves OFF the Internet?!

My mind is blown.

You probably invented the app....or was it the internet you invented... wait, I think I might be confusing you with Al Gore:) My mind was blown, too. I'd totally get mad at any of these apps except the last one...I'd be excited to limit myself then when I had to reboot to finish goofing off it'd just take me more time to goof off, and I'd lose productivity. That last app that would help me flag stuff to read later--that speaks to my distraction level, and that might be good. 

I did not invent any of these.

Find yourself spending too much time on "nonsense" sites? Try Nanny for Google Chrome.

This extension for Google Chrome is your virtual babysitter. Nanny keeps your browsing habits in check by allowing you to block particular URLs at certain times of the day. You also have an option to set up time restrictions -- you'll let yourself peruse Buzzfeed (because it wouldn't be fair to completely abstain from all the cuteness), but only for 60 minutes a day. Best of all, this babysitter doesn't charge $10 an hour, nor will it riffle through your fridge -- Nanny is completely free. (Don't use Chrome? TryAnti-Social, a similar, $15 software you can use on other browsers).

Can't keep yourself offline, even on the weekends? Try Mac Freedom (it's compatible for both Windows and Mac). 

If Nanny is your babysitter, Mac Freedom is your prison guard. As the app's site puts it, "Freedom enforces freedom; you'll need to reboot if you want to get back online while Freedom's running." The software locks you away from the internet for up to eight hours at a time, so you'll have to go do something offline instead of binge-watching "Orange Is The New Black" on Netflix.

Have 600 tabs open on your browser, each one begging for your attention? Try "controlled multi-tab browsing."

tabs

If your browser looks something like the image above, and it feels like you're stuck playing an interminable game of leap frog with your tabs, this app is for you. The Google Chrome extension allows you to put a limit on the number of tabs you can have open in a window at one time. It's a simple idea, but it will keep you from getting distracted and feeling overwhelmed. Plus, whatever you're looking for won't be buried in your tab-apocalypse.

Too much Internet to consume, but not enough hours in the (work) day? Try Pocket.

The internet is a playground -- there's just so much fun to be had. Pocket lets you save"articles, videos or pretty much anything" to read later, during your off hours. When your friend g-chats you that "must-read" Times' op-ed and that list of 1,990 things from the 90s is calling your name, you needn't be distracted from your actual work. Just click "Read later" and indulge on your downtime. This feature will help you cut down those tabs, too.

I do, myself, regularly have tab-apocalypse.

That's funny, because I open tabs until I resolve them and have 80M open. Only 2 now, a record. I often dump stuff into Evernote to free my mind from the "read now" compulsion. 

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