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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 39: Limit Visits to Time-Wasting Websites

Level Advanced

Platform All (Firefox)

Cost Free

Picture this: You sit down at your computer to write a report that’s due the next day. You fire up a web browser to check the company intranet for a document. For a split second, you glance at your home page. “Wow!” you say. “The Red Sox won in the 17th inning! Let me see what happened…”

Three hours later, no report’s been written, and you want to throw yourself out the window.

Sound familiar?

It’s too easy to scamper down the rabbit hole of the Web when you have pressing tasks to work on. At one point or another, you’ve probably burned a few hours clicking around Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, Flickr, YouTube, Google News, or maybe even Lifehacker when you had a deadline to meet. Surfing efficiently is an exercise in discipline and sometimes outright abstinence is necessary. This hack uses the StayFocusd Chrome extension to blank out certain websites during times you’re supposed to be working.

TIP Firefox users looking for a similar tool should try LeechBlock (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/leechblock); you can read more about how to set up LeechBlock at http://lifehacker.com/374812.

Install and Configure StayFocusd

Using the Chrome web browser, download and install the StayFocusd extension from http://tinyurl.com/ydflsvh. (For detailed instructions on how to install a browser extension, see Hack 93, “Extend Your Web Browser.”)

Now you must determine which sites you burn ...

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