The Freedom App: blocking the internet so you can get back to work

Why are you reading this? Are you procrastinating? Please keep reading… It’s a jab at myself, because my favourite online pastime is reading blogs & forums. 🙂

When I’m tired, I have trouble concentrating and “checking my mail” turns into a blog binge. Does that sound familiar? Yes, it’s the “just one more” syndrome.

If you ever had that experience, let me introduce you to Freedom. It’s a little app that blocks your internet connection. Yup, that’s it. Nowadays we really got a program for everything 😉

Do I use it often? No, only when other procrastination-battling techniques fail. I actually like having access to the internet during work. When painting digitally, it happens that I want to find a reference or look up a function of the painting program (for example, drawing a grid). For studying Japanese I often used an online dictionary. Even when I wrote this little article, I checked the internet a few times: I looked up links and pricing.

Still, sometimes I just need the app. Especially when I feel tired… My mind wanders off and I open a browser without thinking… Accidentally procrastinating? Does that even make sense?

At that moment, it’s very handy to just click on Freedom and block the internet for an hour. Then whenever I mindlessly open the browser, I am reminded “Oh right, I was working!” and get back to it.

That sounds a bit weird. I really hope that I’m not the only one…

Can you get around it? Yes, just reboot your computer. Heck, you can even disable it with the task manager. If you don’t want to work, you won’t. This tool helps you to keep working but it won’t force you into it. 😉 A little assistance for when you have concentration difficulties. Which I have way too often!

Let’s look at the practical side:
Freedom gives you a trial of five usages. After that the app costs $10. You can download it here: https://macfreedom.com/

There is a similar app, Cold Turkey, which offers a free version. For your web browsers you have site-blocking plugins like Leechblock for Firefox and StayFocusd for Chrome. I tried them all. Why did I choose the paid Freedom app instead? Its simplicity charmed me. A few clicks and the internet is gone. Poof. Just like that. The other apps need you to block individual sites one by one. There was always a new, unblocked blog lurking to take me away.

By the way, did you know that Chrome lets you play a little game when you don’t have internet connection? Check it out!

Iris Hopp - chrome dinosaur no internet connection game
Look, it’s proof of me studying Japanese! Not like I have been playing this game for procrastination purposes… By the way, it keeps track of your high score 😀

 

Time for some internet-free drawing! Do you get distracted by the internet in general, or by specific sites?

– Iris

2 thoughts on “The Freedom App: blocking the internet so you can get back to work”

  1. Even though I have both Chrome and Opera, I use StayFocused’s nuclear option. Normally I’m only distracted by specific websites that encourage me to refresh them a lot, or checking my statistics. Of course I leave youtube and netflix unblocked because despite their potential serious distraction…it would be stupid to block them. (Usually because for digital art, it’s extremely smooth sailing after the sketch, so I like having some background stuff to listen too)

    Even though I could always open up an alternate browser and cheat (and I have) I find that even with the option the worst I’ve done is do it for 30 minutes when I have chrome blocked. Basically if I have any emergencies where I need to check my email right away or send a notice about a commission, I have that option. 🙂

    1. Haha, I’ve cheated with alternate browsers too. That’s actually how I discovered Opera! As you say, you still need a way to access the internet for emergencies. With Freedom, that means a reboot. 🙂

      & listening to something makes drawing all the more fun. You sound way more experienced than I am!

      – Iris

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