I struggle to get started on work, which means everything takes forever to accomplish. Here are two requirements I need for focus:

I. Get started working

by getting off Facebook/reddit/Twitter/whatever. Get yourself some personal Web Blocking Software (something that’s configurable to times, days, and sites blocked). I’ve been using StayFocusd for a number of years:

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 2.43.26 PM
StayFocusd is my extension of choice for blocking distracting websites.

Here’s how I set it up:

  • allow me 30 minutes per day Monday-Friday 7a-6p on distracting websites
  • block these sites: facebook.com, feedly.com, instagram.com, netflix.com, reddit.com, tumblr.com, twitter.com
  • I cannot change settings for the current day
  • sometimes, I’ll use the nuclear option for an hour — which blocks everything except mcgraw-hill.com (my textbook), seniormbp.com (attendance system), westminster.net (my moodle site)
  • make a $10 donation to the developer every time I use my full 30 minutes in a day

Get StayFocusd or similar browser extensions to stay off distracting websites whether you use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

II. Keep working

by managing work and rest time in a sustainable way. I don’t want to marathon for two hours then be done for the day, for instance. I like the Pomodoro Technique (25 minutes of work followed by 5 minutes break) for its simplicity. Get a timer for your computer or desk.


What do you use to get focused and stay working?