View Full Version : Tip: make use of filters to block websites and set time restrictions

11-04-13, 10:07 AM

I don't have much time (why? you'll understand that after reading this post ;)) but I wish to share something with you about blocking certain websites, or the whole web, during certain periods of the day.

I think you understand it, but it's always useful to make a nice list of your motivations, so let's do that. Ask yourself if you would have the same reasons, or perhaps some additional ones.

Certain websites can drain precious time. You lose productivity
Surfing at night takes away time from sleeping. Lack of sleep makes your concentration worse and, well, we don't want even worse concentration
While certain websites are nice (facebook, this forum, youtube) to spend some time on, they leave you feel bad if you spend too much time there. Too much of a good thing makes a bad thing.

I use 2 filters: K9 and StayFocusd. Let me explain both:

K9, why it's useful:
- you can make a blacklist of certain pages you don't allow. In my case, I block websites of online games (like armorgames). I highly recommend doing that, you won't regret it.
- I can give a friend the password and it is really hard to beat it.
- I block certain adult content. (no need to discuss it here but I wanted to add that, I see it as an advantage)
- You can block access from the entire internet during certain hours. So, I don't have internet from 12 am to 7.30 am. Takes away the option to browse at night which is very good. I didn't do much browsing at night before this (though I used to do this for years), but it's always a risk that I start doing that again. This takes away the risk.

StayFocusd, why it's useful:
- I can block restrict websites (facebook, this forum, youtube, etc) without totally blocking access. Total blocking is not a good strategy in general (except for addictions/things that hurt you or other people), because this can make your craving for this thing much stronger. Also, I don't think this forum, facebook and youtube are "bad", they are good. So, I've set it so that between 9 am and 6 pm I can only spend 60 minutes total on these websites, which is nice. Gives me time to write this post (and forces me to write efficiently), read some posts and comment a bit, but takes away the option to spend the whole working day in this place.

Well, let's quickly finish this post... I hope it was helpful (it is to me!). Blocking the web is one of the branches on this [URL=""]. I've discovered that I need to integrate most of the things on this mindmap, they all help me to become more productive, relaxed and happy. I wonder if you also use tools to block the web in certain ways and which tools you use. Good luck!

By the way, it took me 15 minutes to write this ;).

Edit: I just installed StayFocusd so it needs some tuning. In the future I will also add blogs and news websites to this list and I may lower my time from 60 minutes per workday to 30 minutes or so (remember that the timer is only effective between 9 am and 6 pm), but I don't want to restrict myself too much too fast, otherwise you know you get cravings and find a way to cheat the system.

11-04-13, 11:05 AM
Thank you! I need this badly!

11-04-13, 06:51 PM
Your post is excellent.

I am sorely in need of help to avoid my biggest daily distraction: the internet. I have never heard until now of the StayFocused extension for Google Chrome web browser. As a test I have it set-up to block my favorite news websites after a 40 minute period of viewing them (I can easily spend twice that much time browsing those sites each work day) after that, I'm blocked for the day -- which is fine. IF that works, I hate to say it, will be added to the list because I can get carried away on this website during the work day in addition to some other non-news websites.

Here's some information about StayFocused for anyone who is interested:

11-04-13, 07:48 PM
LeechBlock does a similar job, if you're using Firefox.

11-04-13, 10:45 PM
Super idea Jacksper !

I'm on-board !

It means I won't be able to read as many posts as I would like, however, I'll be more productive. Gotta make choices.

Be well,

11-05-13, 02:44 AM
I first used StayFocusd, (which I quite like for its flexibility but unfortunately, I think, it only works for Chrome, so whenever I blocked any websites I'd just use another browser) and FocalFilter (which works across all browsers). It's the only way I can get any work done. There are plenty of distractions even without the internet with just my thoughts being the main offender but the internet (particularly ADDF :mad::rolleyes:) is a big offender.

I need the internet for work, so I can't block complete access but even blocking just a few sites (ADDF :mad: and bbc online mainly) makes a huge difference.

11-05-13, 05:45 AM
Cool to see your enthusiastic reactions! I have read them all (but don't have time to respond to them all), but I see that you recognise the problem of the internet. I myself think that I've been internet addicted for a long time and I think these filters are a necessary step to start doing less internet. I read that you recognise this and I hope you can also make use of such tools (or find other ways) to get control over your internet/computer use. It's super important!

I think computer/internet (and let's add tv/smartphone) use can make attention worse. It's also something that can keep our AD(H)D mind occupied, it's addictive to everybody in the world, but much more for us. When I am on the internet, I can entertain myself, learn all kind of random stuff, etc. But it doesn't get me anywhere. It's a random walk. I don't want my entire life to be such a random walk, so I know I must deal with this.

It's morning and I already used close to 35 minutes reading and writing post on this forum, so I got to make this post quick again ;). While this may seem restrictive, it makes me feel good because I can be on this forum (and facebook, gmail, youtube) without feeling bad (1 hour is allowed). Also, I know I have to make use of my time so I am forced to write shorter and more to-the-point, something I also want to learn. So there's a lot of birds that you can catch with this one stone, even some birds that you don't expect (but are nice to catch) ;)

Good luck everybody, go for it! One extra bit of advice: start taking walks and read books instead of internet (or meditate, or something else short and simple) when you feel a need for a break. Those are things that can help you build your attention span, they are actually good for you! ;)