Lose the Distractions to Be More Productive


Ding! New email. Ping! More Facebook comments. Ring! New text message.

How can you hope to accomplish anything with such a symphony of activity constantly ringing? Short answer: you can’t.

Studies show that constantly switching between tasks reduces overall efficiency. Most task switching only takes a few seconds, like glancing at your cell phone to see what type of notification just pinged. That look and the mental power it takes to read and understand the notification is enough of a shift to take your mind off task.

Each time your mind switches tasks, you become less productive. One way to increase productivity? Eliminate the possibility of interruptions. Sounds impossible for the average human? It probably is.

Luckily there’s software that can help eliminate your distractions.

Distraction Blocking Software to Increase Your Productivity

No matter what device or browser you use, there is a system that can help increase your productivity by blocking your distractions.

For Macs


Self-Control is a free, open-source application designed to help you avoid distracting websites for a set period of time. If you are looking for a simple and straightforward distraction-blocking application, Self-Control is for you.

What It Blocks:  Websites, mail servers

Cool Feature: This application will block websites until the timer you set expires, even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

Quick Start Timer: Yes

Scheduler: No

Cost: Free

For PC’s

Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey is productivity software for the Windows Operating System (a Mac version is in the works). This software is ideal for users who need extra help blocking out distractions. This system is difficult to turn off, works across all users and browsers on a computer, and can block the entire internet with one click.

What It Blocks: Websites and applications

Cool Feature: The Frozen Turkey feature locks you out of your computer for pre-set periods. (available in the pro version)

Quick Start Timer: No

Scheduler: Yes – in the Pro version

Cost: Basic – Free; Pro – $19 (one time)

For Google Chrome


StayFocusd is a Google Chrome plugin that restricts the amount of time you can spend on predetermined websites. If your problem is simply spending too much time on certain websites, then StayFocusd is an excellent option.

What It Blocks: Websites

Cool Feature: Allows you to block entire websites, specific subdomains, specific paths, specific pages, and even specific in-page content (videos, games, images, forms, etc.).

Quick Start Timer: Yes

Scheduler: No

Cost: Free

For Firefox


LeechBlock is a Firefox browser extension designed to reduce the amount of time you spend on certain websites. This extension is ideal for anyone who needs to schedule distraction blocking as well as impromptu blocking.

What It Blocks: Websites

Cool Feature: The lockdown feature lets you block sites immediately for a specified time period.

Quick Start Timer: Yes

Scheduler: Yes

Cost: Free



Freedom is a more advanced distraction blocker that works across your devices for maximum effectiveness. This is one of the more advanced applications with a host of features.

What It Blocks: Internet, social media, apps

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and Mac and Windows computers. Android client is in development

Cool Feature: Create schedules to build productivity into your day automatically

Quick Start Timer: Yes

Scheduler: Yes

Cost: Monthly – $6.99/month; Yearly – $29; Forever – $119.99

You may not be able to accomplish every task you need to do today, but there are tools to eliminate unnecessary interruptions and distractions that will make it much easier. True work efficiency is a goal we can all work to attain.