Does LeechBlock Lockdown Improve Personal Productivity?

When working online are you focused on what needs doing most of the time?

Or are interesting amusements catching your attention and leading you astray?

I’ve noticed that I can easily become caught up in exploring various social media tools (e.g. Marketing and Copywriting Forums, LinkedIn, Twitter and more recently, FaceBook) to the exclusion of getting the actual work done.

This is not good and leads to burning the midnight oil in an effort to meet other deadlines.

So, having experienced this unwanted behaviour I’ve decided to up the ante and have technology come to my aid in the form of the LeechBlock plugin for FireFox which I posted about last June in, “The App Between Your Ears“.


However, this time I’ve not only blocked my access to a list of social media and news sites Monday to Saturday inclusive, but I’ve also made it difficult to change these settings.

That means there’s now an extra step involved if I wanted to “cheat” on my own productivity rules. Of course, I could always remove the LeechBlock plugin and noone would know 🙂

What’s stopping me from doing so are two useful allies:

  • My pride in “doing the right thing“. (It’s rather stupid to blog about personal productivity systems if it’s obvious that I’m uncommitted to making them work. Like many people interested in time management that I know of, it’s often a case of two steps forward and one back. But press on, press on…)
  • My “Primitive Guidance System” (For details of the ‘PGS’, see my post about the good people at ‘Habit Change’.)

My PGS ‘knows’ I have the login details for a ton of sites I visit stored within FireFox on this particular computer. (Yes, I do have secure backups of this data.)

Meaning that it’s a right pain in the rear to start accessing my ‘banned sites’ either via another browser such as Internet Explorer or on another computer (I’d need that login list and have to type in the details at login time.)

The path of least resistance would therefore seem to be to continue to use FireFox.

We shall see.

Anyway, I’m just a few weeks into this ‘lockdown’ experiment so too early to conclude one way or the other.

I have noticed some interesting ‘withdrawal’ symptoms when I try to access Twitter or LinkedIn because someone’s sent me a link or I’ve read an entry on a blog post and want to retweet it.

Naughty! Naughty! No retweeting until Sunday… and by that time I forgot about it or thought that most weren’t worthwhile. (I can just hear the gnashing teeth of sundry social media ‘gurus’. Tough titties.)

Now, what was it you were working on again?
Ouch! Put up or shut up time…

How about you?
What systems and programs (beyond ‘willpower’) help you stay on track and commit to what you know needs doing?

– Mark McClure

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About the Author

Author: Mark McClure is a science fiction author who lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Current project: A three-book series of novels involving time travel, parallel worlds and emerging technologies. All being well, these will be published in the 2018 timeline. Visit my blog for updates: My Books

2 comments on “Does LeechBlock Lockdown Improve Personal Productivity?
  1. Eldon says:

    Cheers for the good post 🙂 Purposefully putting in difficult passwords for site (to prevent browser switching) is a really good idea! That might just be the final nail in the time-waster’s coffin…

  2. Jacinta Hin says:

    Very funny and, frighteningly, many of us, myself included, might have to follow your example one day. – Jacinta

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