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Posted on Wednesday 1 April 2009 at 10:30 am

Block Timewasting Websites (Not an April Fool's Joke)

I just stumbled across LeechBlock, a highly customizable Firefox addon that blocks time wasting website. I've got it set up right now to block all my main websites (LJ, Facebook, GoodReads, my RSS reader, etc.) for all but 10 minutes of every hour, from 10:00 to 6:00, Monday to Friday. I've also got it set so that I am prevented from modifying any of the settings during times in which the settings are in effect so that I can't just turn it off. I don't need self control if it prevents me from getting on goof off websites!

Of course, I just installed it and there are backdoor ways to turn it off, so we'll see how well it works in practice, but it sounds like exactly what I need in theory and I'm hopeful that it will help me get some work done.


train_lindz at 3:04 pm on 01 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm impressed with your attempt at productivity. I would fail. Badly.
bratty_jedi at 3:09 pm on 01 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
I have failed badly at every previous attempt. This one takes more of the control out of my hands so here's hoping it works.
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 3:12 pm on 01 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
Now that sounds like something I could use. But do I have the willpower to install it?
bratty_jedi at 3:56 pm on 01 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
That's a tough question. I'll let you know how it works for me.
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 1:14 pm on 13 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
Have you had any success with this? I installed it, thought I had it all configured, but nothing was actually blocked, but when I went back to see if I could re-configure it, I couldn't get into anything to edit. So I uninstalled and re-installed. But all those preferences were still there, and uneditable. I don't know what to do!
bratty_jedi at 3:27 pm on 13 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
I'm not having any problems with mine. I've got it set to block me from certain websites Monday to Friday, 9:30 to 6:00, but to allow me to access those sites for ten minutes out of every hour during that time. I've also got it set to only allow me six hours of access to the entire web each day on the weekend. It blocks the sets at the end of the times I've set and works just fine. It has been helping me a lot.

I've got it set to not allow me to access the controls during times when websites are blocked so that I can't easily undo it. Sounds like you also turned on that option if things are uneditable. In order to change things while it is not letting you, you have a couple of options. First, you can try changing the clock on your computer so that your computer and leechblock think it is a time when it isn't supposed to be blocking websites, thus will let you access the controls. The other option is to go into the configurations and change things around, assuming you haven't blocked access to about:config. The directions for that are here.

If you want to shoot me an email telling me what your setup is, I can look it over and see if I can spot where things are going wrong. I'm about to head out for a lunch, though and won't be back on my computer for a couple of hours at least.
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 3:38 pm on 13 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
I did the manual thing to clear it out, and that seems to have done the trick! But I must be doing something fundamentally wrong with the configurations, because I can't get it to actually block anything! Can you tell me what I'd do to block facebook and LJ, for example?
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 3:42 pm on 13 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, nevermind... I see that just blocking livejournal.com or facebook.com isn't enough for everything? I've got to do my f-list and my specific facebook homepage? And individual blogs, etc. I want to block?
bratty_jedi at 7:27 pm on 13 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
What I have for blocking LJ and Facebook is


The asterisk is a wildcard so it blocks, for example, bratty-jedi.livejournal.com and mrstater.livejournal.com That gets pretty much everything from both those sites.
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 9:49 pm on 13 April 2009 (UTC) (Link)
Awesome, thanks! I'm all set up now!

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