6 Websites You Should Block When You Need to Work

Hear this article read aloud here!

Post ported from nicholaskross.com

You’ve heard the advice before: set a time to work when you don’t need the Internet. It is often the single biggest improvement to your ability to do work. I’d guess this is because such a high proportion of addictive things are online, where they are continually being optimized to keep your attention. But what if you need continual access because you work on a server, or need tutorials, or otherwise require a connection to do your work?

Luckily, the blank blocklist need not intimidate you away from this important practice.

(Software you’ll need: anything that can block specific sites. Free tools exist, like Leechblock and Cold Turkey.)

1. facebook.com

Privacy. Data. Leaks. Filter bubbles. Clickbait. By now, everyone has at least passing familiarity with the problems created by a platform optimized for growth and engagement. Yes, sometimes you need Facebook to keep up with friends or work. Yes, sometimes they provide useful features in their quest for more users. When it comes time to work, if you’re still an active user, make sure to block this first.

2. twitter.com

Fun. Endless. Distracting. Like Facebook, Twitter is crafted to capture and keep attention. Unlike texting (or even parts of Facebook), Twitter is not essential for any useful work (unless your work requires posting and promoting. Or you work at Twitter.). Keep it separate from your productive time.

3. reddit.com and/or tumblr.com

If you found this blog, you likely use at least one of these niche-oriented social networks. If you’re a hardcore procrastinator, this will not be the first time you’ve read an imperative to get off whichever site you prefer. They’re communities are notorious for procrastination. When it comes time to work, make sure these are on your blocklist.

4. youtube.com

As much freedom as YouTube provides for creation and watching, it is almost like the new version of television in its functionality. Be honest: do you watch YouTube when you have extra energy, or when you’re tired? We both know the answer (well, hypothetically). Block it from your work time.

5. tvtropes.org

This website may be a tad niche, but I could not in good conscience leave it off this list. Its catalog of recurring patterns in fiction has a well-deserved reputation for keeping people on the site for ages, and its surprisingly high Alexa rank confirms its popularity. I would be a hypocrite if I told you to swear off the site entirely. Instead, just block it when you need work done.

In order to fully capture the benefits, you might want to track your time using a free application. Then, you can pinpoint exactly where your personally waste lots of time. If you’re a compulsive shopper, add amazon.com to your blocklist. if you follow eSports, block twitch.tv. And of course, if my blog is distracting you (with its 3 entire 26 posts), block it when you need to work.