Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Driven to distraction
In this modern, cyber-infused world, we writers are bombarded with constant distractions that keep us from our most fundamental task... writing. (Now that I have a smart phone, I suffer this all the more. >.<) I mean, c'mon. We're expected to build, grow, and maintain a social media platform, then find the peace and quiet necessary to write thousands of expertly crafted and painstakingly polished words. It's kind of ironic when you really think about it. Connect! Now unplug! :P
I recently heard about a couple of apps that are designed to help modern humans eliminate the distractions, or at least control them enough to find a balance.
The first is Freedom. It's a $10 app that turns off your internet service for a predetermined period of time. The up side? Internet silence. The downside? To restore your service before time is up, you have to reboot your computer. (Fwiw, Freedom wouldn't work for me. I need my browser for research while I'm writing. For now, I just close down the email and social tabs and leave the other ones open.) For a limited time, Freedom also has an app for android.
Another app mentioned on a video on the Freedom site is a service called Rescue Time. This app is more expensive, but it does more, too. Rescue Time monitors your use of various sites and organizes the data into reports that show you where your time is being spent. It can also block distracting sites, alert you when you've spent too much time somewhere, and congratulate you on a very productive day.
A third app I came across is called Anti-social. It can block distracting sites from 15 minutes to 8 hours. It costs $15, but for a few more bucks, you can buy it bundled with Freedom.
I'm curious what you think.
Have you ever heard of such apps?
Would any of these work for you?