Spend $2.42 and Add Thousands of Hours To Your Life
We live in a world that is full of distractions, and it is so easy to find yourself wasting time that you later regret. But there is a very simple way to keep yourself on track, so that you get much more done ever day.
The Simple Software Tool that Saves Wasted Time
What if you could shell out a measly few bucks and add hours of productive time to your day, every day – adding up to many thousands of hours over the course of your life. What if you could cross more things off your ‘to do’ list every day, accomplish more than you thought possible, and find time for new projects and experiences?
I have done exactly that, and it was easy. All I needed to do was spend a few dollars on a simple but highly-effective piece of software. Freedom is a software tool that does just one thing, but does it very well. It blocks your access to the Internet for a period of time that you choose, allowing you to get on with important work without the distractions that life in an online world presents us.
Of course, such software should not be necessary. We should all have enough self-discipline to get on with the important things in life without being distracted. But we are all human, and watching cat videos on YouTube somehow seems like more fun than writing a 1000-word blog post, or organizing your home, or preparing that all-important presentation. And even if our intentions are totally honorable, it is so easy to drift away from the important to the trivial.
The Temptation of the Internet
The descent into non-productivity goes rather like this – I am sure you will recognize the pattern.
Let’s say that one evening, you are preparing a presentation to a prospective client. You start out working on your important project with the very best intentions. Then ten minutes in, you find that you need to check a key fact about your potential client. You could leave this until later, but all of a sudden you want to know the right answer right now – because typing a search query into Google seems like more fun than doing real work. So you Google the company’s name, and a YouTube video shows up in the results.
You click the link, and start to watch the video. Then you realize that the video is not about your potential client, but about another company with a similar name. You lose interest in that video, but now YouTube is suggesting other videos to watch, some of them relating to the stand-up comedian you watched on YouTube over the weekend.
One of the titles catches your eye, and you can’t resist clicking the link. You know you shouldn’t really be watching this now, but just ten minutes won’t hurt, right? But then you realize this isn’t a single video, but a part of a stand-up comedy playlist.
Next thing you know, two hours have gone by, and all you have done is watch mediocre comedians tell even more mediocre jokes. You are now way behind with the work on your presentation. You know that what you should do is close down your browser and get back to work. But now it’s after 9.00pm, and you are starting to feel tired. No pointing in trying to work when you are tired – might as well forget working this evening and watch a few more videos.
Cool Cats and Crazy Canines
You follow the trail of video links, which takes you from stand-up comedy to funny prank videos, and finally (and inevitably) to amusing cat and dog clips. Sometime later, you look at the clock and realize it is now 1.30am.
WTF…where did my evening go?
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then you need Freedom. Although the software is very simple (and very cheap!) it is perhaps the best investment I have ever made in getting things done. As a blogger, I need to spend a big chunk of my day focusing on just writing – getting blog posts, book content and other material produced on a regular basis.
I prefer to write in the morning, and if I can focus without distractions, I can easily get all the important writing down in the four hours between 9.00am and 1.00pm – as long as I can avoid distractions. But distractions can be a big problem. Although I love writing, any blogger will tell you that getting words written feels like work. And we all do everything we can to avoid work.
I can usually get the headline and first paragraph written without too many problems – but then my mind starts to wander. Maybe there is an important email waiting for me…I should check my Gmail account just in case. Then there’s Facebook and Pinerest – better check those, too. Oh, and what about that big news story that broke this morning. Maybe I will just check CNN for an update…
And so it goes on. The longer I sit there staring at the screen, the more I get distracted. The online world is just too tempting, and oh-so-much more fun than doing real work. Research shows that most of us waste many hours a week on social media activities.
The Simple Solution that Works
And that’s where Freedom comes in. At 9.00am sharp, I fire up Freedom and set it to block my Internet access for four hours. If I really, really, really need to access the Internet urgently, I can reboot my computer and cancel the block. But even though I have that escape route available, I never use it unless it really is essential.
This simple, inexpensive tool has helped me to get a lot more done every day. I may have missed a few interesting cat tricks along the way, but my productivity has gone through the roof. If you are frustrated in the way the Internet is draining your time, give Freedom a try…it could make all the difference.