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During the last few weeks, I’ve been using a slate of programs to tame these digital distractions. The apps break down into three broad categories. The most innocuous simply try to monitor my online habits in an effort to shame me into working more productively. Others reduce visual bells and whistles on my desktop as a way to keep me focused.
And then there are the apps that really mean business — they let me actively block various parts of the Internet so that when my mind strays, I’m prohibited from giving in to my shiftless ways. It’s the digital equivalent of dieting by locking up the refrigerator and throwing away the key.
As suggested by the fridge analogy, I think self-discipline and goal-setting are the keys in this context, not guilt-ware…