Turning off the distracting parts of the Internet

[note: the features discussed below will be launching within a week or so.  Get started ASAP and, when the features go live, RescueTime will be much smarter about the stuff that’s distracting you!]

We’re currently working on a feature that we’re really excited about and we’d love to get your feedback.

What it does is this:

1. In the menu of the installable part of RescueTime is an item that says, “Get Focused…”
2. It pops up a window that looks something like this:

focus2

For the duration that you enter, we’re going to turn off the bad/distracting parts of the internet.  You’ll be sent to a block page like this.  Your “get out of jail” cards include:

  • telling RescueTime that we’ve mistakenly categorized this site as distracting (we’re pretty good at defaults and you can edit your list, but a false positive is theoretically possible)
  • Doing a simple math problem.  Our goal here is to create just enough work to make you think about what you’re doing.
  • Force-quitting RescueTime.  The geeky among you realize that you can kill the process (though that’s a touch harder than the math problem.

So here’s the question for you– we’d love to hear back in the comments:  How sharp should the teeth be?  Ideally you’re focusing for short bursts (30-45 minutes) – should we let you out or force the commitment?

More details below if you’d like to hear more about our thinking on this feature.

Why Build this Feature

The web is getting scientific.  Specifically, it’s getting scientific about separating you from your time.  Entertainment and news sites are doing multi-variate testing trying to maximize the metrics that matter in their business.  That is: pageviews, time-on-page, and bounce-rate (a measure of whether you look at more than 1 page).  They’re getting good at these tests, and it’s costing us.  Even the best of us.  We’ve all experienced that moment where we look at the clock and realize, “Holy crap– I just spent 2 hours surfing when I really wanted to be getting things done!”.

A while back, we were inspired by a really cool app for the Mac called Freedom.  Basically, it allowed you to turn off the entire internet for a fixed period of time.  The only way to turn it back on again was fairly costly- a reboot.  Surely this was a great tool for short bursts of self-imposed focus!

But it didn’t take too many tries to realize that the internet is just too central to how we work.  Google Docs holds critical information that we need ready access to.  It’s nigh-impossible to code without access to the huge pile of debugging info and tutorials that Google search gives us access to.  Designing is crippled without the internet as well– stock image sites and color palette inspiration sites are a big part of our design process and we can’t get quick feedback on a design direction if we can’t post it to Skitch and IM the team a link.  We needed something that only turned off that distracting bits of the internet.

So we moved on and tried LeechBlock, a nifty Firefox plugin that allows voluntary blocking.  But we quickly ran into painful limitations here as well.  The distracting swaths of the web are vast– Leechblock allowed you to create a list of distracting domains, but www.facebook.com doesn’t catch 3rd level domains like app.facebook.com.  And a friend can IM you a link to a funny website that you’ve never been to (and might never go back to) which can be a huge distraction.  Managing that list is imperfect and time consuming.  And, of course, Firefox isn’t as big a part of our browsing lives as it once was.  Many of us use Safari or Chrome.  And, from a product design point of view, it’s hard to ignore that a big mess of people still use IE.  A solution that enforces across all browsers seems critical for something like this.

So, as of now we’re internally testing the “Get Focused” option and loving it.  We don’t have to build lists of distracting sites, it works in any browser, and it has enough “teeth” to keep us honest without actually locking us in a closet.  What do you think?


100 Comments on “Turning off the distracting parts of the Internet”

  1. Charles says:

    I think it’s a brilliant idea. I’m not sure how to execute it effectively for myself. I could obviously stop Twitter, my RSS feed, but could I/ Should I stop email for example? If I do, could it execute some kind of auto-email for me saying “I’m focused but if you really need me do this”.

    I agree with the limitations of the other tools. Often being focused for me requires some degree of research etc. and so I need general access. But I could shut down access to my gadget perusal or iPhone apps. It would be great.

  2. zzelinski says:

    This is absolutely a great idea. Go forward with it! I think the graphic you posted gives all the right options (of course with the ability to change to minutes, not hours) — I like being able to decide how honest you’ll keep me.

    In fact, it would be cool (if I’m given the “don’t keep me honest” choice) to keep stats on how often, when I choose that, I actually stay honest, and what sites were my kryptonite of the day.

  3. Bill Mill says:

    I want this badly; I’d gladly beta test it for you.

  4. andrew says:

    i would love this. LOVE it. give it all the teeth possible.

    if you do make the teeth soft, why not keep track of how often you wuss out?

  5. John says:

    Sounds like a good start. Though distracting apps (RSS Readers anyone?) can be as much of a problem as distracting web sites.

    Also worth considering is having the ability for this to automatically kick in if certain parameters are met, such as too much time in Very Distracting or your efficiency rating slips below a certain threshold.

    • Richie says:

      Yes, that does sound like a good idea.

      It would be cool if my productivity dropped to a certain level, that RescueTime would automatically start blocking sites/apps until my efficiency got back above that level.

  6. Galen says:

    FANTASTIC feature. It will make me a full time to RescueTime user. It should make a big hurdle to getting net access – whatever it is, it should take 30-60 seconds and should not be a background process.

    Maybe, for those of us who occasionally need to visit random links online, you could create a “remember this URL for later” feature? If not, I’ll just do it in Text Edit.

    Brilliant. Want it!

  7. Hates_ says:

    Gimme gimme gimme! Save me from distractions… PLEASE!

  8. dave reeves says:

    I love it, and agree with your thoughts about freedom, etc.

    I think there might be a middle choice between ‘let me out’ and ‘don’t let me out.’ In fact, it might be a better option for many than ‘don’t let me out.’

    make it social. getting out would trigger an email to someone else defined by the user saying, in effect, ‘dave couldn’t focus for 2.5 hours.’ So the motivation not only becomes focus but fear of embarrassment, peer pressure, etc.

    It’s MUCH harder for many people to keep commitments when they only have themselves to hold them accountable.

    Love the product. keep it up.

  9. Leif Hansen says:

    Wow, I love the idea. I’ve suggested that apps/services like RescueTime & Time-Out (BreakReminder) & “Freedom” (for mac) join forces. Looks like its happening through a feature like this. Very cool. Though my latest version of RT for some reason isn’t loading…grrr, stats for whole last week are toast

  10. Leif Hansen says:

    Galen, I like your ‘exception’ catching idea..nice!

  11. erik says:

    yes, want! sign me up to be a beta tester please.

  12. Greg Bray says:

    I think it would be a great new feature to add to RescueTime. I use to use a product called DoNotDisturb (http://www.seeplain.com/donotdisturb.htm) but the problem was trying to maintain the list of good sites and bad sites. I tid however like their unblock features, which required typing a 64 character string of letters. I think that type of approach works better than math problems. Example:

    http://img.brothersoft.com/screenshots/softimage/d/donotdisturb-59975-1.jpeg

  13. Julia says:

    This is a great idea! You probably know this already, but blocking is misspelling as “blcoking” in your mock-up.

  14. Greg c says:

    I wish RescueTime had or worked in conjunction with a calendar/day planner. In other words, I’d like to plan my day by the hour (e.g. work on X from 9am to 11:30am, lunch from 11:30am to 1:30pm,etc.) and then have RescueTime set the appropriate controls on what I can/cannot do during those times. This would make RescueTime much more valuable as it would allow me to judge how good I am at doing what I said I am going to do/when and also allow me to adjust my schedule if I find the plan I set does not work well for me.

  15. Adrian says:

    I was just distracted by this post in GReader! OK, I’m going back now…

    As someone above commented: “give it all the teeth possible.” Please.

  16. Matt says:

    This is the direction I was hoping you guys would go in.

  17. [...] Turning off the distracting parts of the Internet « RescueTime Blog [...]

  18. Adrian says:

    Greg c has a great idea:
    “I’d like to plan my day by the hour (e.g. work on X from 9am to 11:30am, lunch from 11:30am to 1:30pm,etc.) and then have RescueTime set the appropriate controls on what I can/cannot do during those times. This would make RescueTime much more valuable as it would allow me to judge how good I am at doing what I said I am going to do/when and also allow me to adjust my schedule if I find the plan I set does not work well for me.”

    That is a tall order, I’m sure, but I second the request. It would be an amazing option.

  19. Crista says:

    I love it! Can’t wait!

  20. Tycen says:

    Yeah, this would be an awesome feature – I like that math problem idea – I would vote for not making it too hard to get back to wasting time – but just enough to make you think about what you’re doing. Not sure if it’s been said, but integration with Outlook email notifications (turning them off) would be great – those can be pretty distracting. An option to auto tweet something like “I’m focusing on work for the next 2 hours” might be kind of cool, too.

  21. deta says:

    Excelent idea with a math task to turn it off. I like it!

    Will there be a (paid) Linux deb package?

    • Tony Wright says:

      Tragically, we don’t have the bandwidth to attack a Linux offering– though an open source project has made some progress and we would be ridiculously helpful/supportive of anyone who wanted to help it along. The data collector talks to a web service, so it’s theoretically pretty easy to build one.

  22. ya-ya says:

    Yes, I’ve been waiting for this for a LONG time – Please give it as much teeth as possible. I have currently been using Parental Controls on myself to keep me off the internet completely between midnight and 7am. I also use Leechblock and have set up specific times during the day when I am allowed to view non-work internet sites. It works great if you don’t have access to another browswer, as you mentioned in the article. Something that would work with all browsers, like rescue-time would be ideal. One thing I like about leechblock is that you can also add profiles and exceptions. I will very happily beta test this for you!!! Thanks for a great product.

    Jen

    • ya-ya says:

      true story, I just posted that really quickly because I thought I was gonna be kicked off the internet at midnight, but then I remembered I changed my settings for tomorrow, so I wasn’t kicked off. Please hurry with this app — and thanks again!!!

  23. Camille says:

    Hi,

    Please start correcting the spelling “blcocking” in your popup, to get me focused ;-)

  24. marissa says:

    wow, do i need this desperately.

  25. Dan Butcher says:

    Great idea! I too have had run into the limitations you identified with Firefox add-ons and similar approaches. I really like that this would be tied into my record of time usage. This feature is definitely worth paying for a pro account!

  26. OMG I need this so badly, trying to write a thesis atm!!

    I think there should be an opt out just in case. Th aforementioned maths problem etc would be enough of a deterrent from checking the ol facebook! as guilt for not working would set ib

  27. Justin M. says:

    I think it’s an awesome idea. I don’t use rescue time, but I’ve had it on the back of my mind for a while. This is a really intriguing idea and I’d be very interested in trying it out!

  28. Tony M. says:

    I want a multi-user version of this for my staff… fast.
    Where do I buy or download this ?

    • Tony Wright says:

      Hey Tony– We’re launching this particular feature very very soon (we’re currently in the final stages of testing). You can check out our business offering here (which is still a week or two away from having the voluntary focus option but has all sorts of other great features that have helped people gain an average of 10% more productive time).

  29. grant spoon says:

    wonderful idea and depending person might be useful. problem is I have 5 monitors watching about 5x as much data, news, emails etc as the avg person. I don’t have time to surf. I know when something is a waste of time to explore. my biggest need is quickly taking info I locate, reading it, then storing it for later and moving on. ahh, I’m even confused thinking about how you could stop using the inet for 10 minutes. So the big question is, does someone NEED to be online for their work? if not, could be a great program. good luck.

  30. ocerati says:

    i love the idea, i know i probably waste at least 30% of my time wondering around. I like the less than an hour timeframe as i can focus 50 mins and then wonder (or catch up) for 10.

  31. Joe Rare says:

    I love this and think you should really challenge people to stay committed. I know that my clients need this more than I do, staying on task is harder now than it has ever been. I say go balls to the walls and make these teeth razor sharp. If people get bit, it’s their own fault for quitting their commitment. Make them pay for it. They can then ask themselves, where else is this happening in their life.

  32. spoof says:

    I did something similar, a custom script that blocked specific sites, irc and others. It was ok but I found the best solution was to create another user account on my pc specifically for work

  33. David Montgomery says:

    I look forward to trying it out.

    Currently I have a scheduled task that overwrites my hosts file at 8am and restores it at 1pm. When I need to get around it, I just run the unblock scheduled task, which is mostly enough of a barrier for me.

  34. Amanda says:

    Wow! I’d love to comment, but I didn’t read the whole post as it was distracting me from GETTING ON WITH MY WORK!

  35. Hmmmm….

    I discovered this page by being distracted by an interesting link….!

    Jim

  36. jojo says:

    Love it – this is just what I’ve been needing for a long time – but I’m not smart enough to design it myself – so Im delighted you guys are doing it for me!

  37. Jon Davies says:

    Flipping heck! Can’t believ all of the comments! How about self discipline? Work on that, not another piece of software that will clog up your (already clogged up) PC

    • Tony Wright says:

      That’s an interesting point. Maybe the whole world is weak. :-)

      The way I look at it is this: all the news and entertainment sites out there are doing measurement and multi-variate testing to optimize for maximum attention suck. They are trying to get you to view one more page or hang out on their site for 1 more second. Human critters aren’t perfect– especially when we have work in front of us that needs to get done but we might not be looking forward to. I imagine there’s pretty significant variance in discipline based on the work you have to do and your particular brain chemistry. After all, there are people who would nearly self-destruct if they walked into a casino, and there are other people who aren’t moved by that particular Skinner box. We can tell people who overindulge (whether it’s gambling, food, or online leisure surfing) to just get some self discipline or we can go to war and arm people with some tools/tricks/ideas to help them do what they say they want to do during moments of strength.

      We choose the latter!

      The average RescueTime user (in just over 6 hours of computer time) visits 45+ unique domains and uses 13+ unique applications. Our attention is spread thin

    • John says:

      Jon, there are certainly some who can rely solely on self-discipline. Congratulations.
      However, the distractions are simply far more powerful than they have ever been. If a thought pops into your head, be it academic, entertainment related, social, whatever, you can now follow that thought instantly. It’s just a different world, and there are far fewer people who have the requisite discipline to control it to their satisfaction. RescueTime is just another aid in that fight.

  38. Tim Grahl says:

    An app similar to this for Macs is called SelfControl:

    http://visitsteve.com/work/selfcontrol/

    It’s buggy and not extremely intuitive, so I would love to have something from a company like RescueTime

    And when you’re asking about how sharp the teeth should be… I think there should be an option for “not even possible to turn it off”.

    SelfControl won’t even turn off if you reboot your computer!

    Can’t wait to see this feature.

  39. Alin S says:

    i want it!!!!

  40. Kim Korte says:

    Wow, can’t wait to test out this feature. I often looked for a possibillity to avoid visiting social networks over and over again.

    Unfortunately I’m not very disciplinated and fully-dependet on my mac ^^

  41. omg i love this…and need it!!

  42. I think you can create a OPTION called “Warning Distract Time” that can transforme the TRAY ICON when you are distracted, and when the time was spent the alert grow, and warns pop-up the screen at times to alert.

  43. Wesley says:

    This sounds great! Bring it on! Short bursts sound like a good idea, and I think the ability to schedule periods of ‘focus time’ would be a great addition also.

  44. Nigel Rowe says:

    Great feature idea. I would definitely use it. Which is a sad but true statement. Several other people have nailed this concept though, it’s nothing to do with self-discipline but the multi-dimensional nature of the Net.

  45. Ed Bradburn says:

    Just do it!

    John’s comment above was so good that I have to repeat it here:

    “If a thought pops into your head, be it academic, entertainment related, social, whatever, you can now follow that thought instantly.”

    It’s not about discipline per se. What about the Getting Thing Done mantra that says “if it can be done in less than 3 minutes, do it now?”. That’s the kind of thing that now leads to endless clicking and “finishing”. Until you hit two sites where you forgot your password and another where you suddenly want to check out that new server option you forgot earlier, etc., etc.

    I think it’s useful and right in line with RescueTime’s philosophy.

    An “attention firewall”, so to speak.

  46. Eric says:

    I love this idea!

    If implemented properly it could be very useful!

    I cant wait to see what you guys do with this.

  47. Great idea — I’ll definitely use it.

    An extension of this idea, since RescueTime is already watching my online activity, would be for RescueTime to notice when I’m using more distracting things than usual and actually suggest some focused time. If it did this, then I’d want to be able to refuse it or accept focused time starting either now or in some number of minutes.

    Can’t wait to try this out!

  48. Matt says:

    This is a Fantastic Idea. I’ve been wanting something like this for a LOOONG time. All other options I had to block some of my “productivity death sites” were too time consuming and heavy to turn on and off.

    Hats off to rescuetime.

  49. Matt says:

    BTW @john…

    Controlling your environment IS actually a form of self-discipline. You’re simply choosing to exercise that discipline when your mind is clear and objective, and not muddled by the prospect of an immediate short term reward.

    From a behavior theory perspective, it’s a much more effective form of self-discipline.

  50. Jacob says:

    Give me a math problem, that is simple enough to be done mentally, but long enough to be somewhat frustrating. This should be enough to remind me that I should be working!

  51. Matt says:

    Excellent idea – i’d be all over the “forced” blocking.

  52. morleyl says:

    Sounds good to me..

  53. ansi says:

    Just one question – when do we get to test it out???

  54. Angela says:

    Yes yes please!

    I also vote for the option of making it just about impossible to disable. I mean, if I choose to turn the thing on, that means I NEED IT to be on! I am already far too clever at justifying why it’s okay to check Facebook for “just a moment.” Digging out my iPhone is a possibility for a Facebook emergency (?) but is definitely past the point of justification.

    I like the suggestion of Focus popping up as a suggestion when RT notices I’ve been wasting time.

    And for the “you should have more discipline” crowd, I refer you to this article:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2224932/
    Our brains are *wired* to be susceptible to this stuff. And I don’t care if it’s a weakness or whatever, I’ll take all the help I can get!

    Thanks :)

  55. Matt Katz says:

    Steve Lambert’s “Self Control” has a bit sharper teeth, if that’s what you are looking for: http://visitsteve.com/work/selfcontrol/

  56. Ben says:

    This could be amazingly powerful and useful. Haven’t read all the comments, but here are my suggestions:

    * Let me turn off either all internet, certain sites/categories, or all internet minus specified research tools (ie. http://loc.gov, http://scirus.com, etc.)
    * Let me set a time period in intervals of 15 mins or w/e
    * Make sure it doesn’t block music like Pandora One Air app for example.

    But ya I would definitely use this.

  57. littlewolf says:

    I would love to have a tool like this! Although it would be interesting how I’d go about using this together with Workrave. http://www.workrave.org/

  58. Susheel says:

    Rescue Time for me.

    This looks like a great idea. I’d love to use it, and from the looks of things, I need it ASAP.

    Back to work now.

  59. Komal says:

    Its great feature, will definitely help in increasing my productivity, waiting for it to launch.

  60. Great idea.

    I think it should have some serious teeth, its not like you have to use it, but if you do decide to use it the lock-in should be significant IMHO.

    Regards
    Richard

  61. I’m using LeechBlock at work, and it’s a great little productivity helper. Btw if you specify facebook.com instead of http://www.facebook.com, then it should filter out subdomains as well.

    I think the RescueTime app should give users the choice to completely lock the distractions for a given period of time, or let them override it after clicking through a bunch of warning pop-ups. Of course this configuration would need to take place before the lockdown, and should default to allowing manual override.

  62. Michael says:

    Nice concept, although I think there are lots of cases where this sort of functionality could quite easily be abused, especially in the “group monitoring” setting. Provided that the end-user has control over it, it seems fine, but if it’s something that can be remotely and silently turned on and off, it seems kind of worrysome.

    Still, looking forward to trying this out for my own personal use.

  63. Daniel Meeks says:

    I think this is a great idea and i would definitely use this feature!

  64. Rebe says:

    Love it! Please let us know when this goes live!!

  65. WilfredT says:

    You know, I’m thinking that you need some sort of Domain Name SServer that is keyed to your MAC address. it would lock our internet settings for a time and we COULD NOT even if we went to another wireless network/Browser/etc. NO back door. A timed safe doesnt give you a way to dial it’s combination sooner. It’s the internet. You are not going to DIE. You’lll just FEEL like you will.

  66. WilfredT says:

    If you could work in conjunction with OPENDNS.com thatwould be a slam dunk.

  67. Rob says:

    Absolutely.

    Great idea.

  68. Jon Bray says:

    I think its a great idea. I suggest you make the amount of teeth variable – with an option to have a “trojan protected” mode which restarts itself after being turned off (and can’t be deactivated until the end of the focus period). If you had the trojan started by svchost.exe it becomes so much hassle to work out which service to kill that its easier to just do something useful! Obviously some people don’t like the whole idea of trojans, even benign ones, hence the option to set the number of teeth.

    Some of us use this software at home (my excuse for having an almost constantly negative score) – it would be handy if it could block traffic using any protocol, not just HTTP – I’m spending FAR too much time on WoW as it is :-)

    (It would also be nice to be able to compare myself just to people using the computer at home, rather than everyone else who really IS supposed to be working. Ditto for people at work who may only thinky they’re more productive than the average office bod because of people like me who are allowed to relax a bit more)

  69. Svetlin says:

    That’s a great idea, if it’s easy to turn on and hard to get out of. I like the suggestions to make it kick in automatically if you get too distracted.
    For the “get out of jail” options, I like an option to make it “impossible” to get out, but also an option to do some useful work (think crowdsourcing like http://www.galaxyzoo.org/classify). If it has to be math problems, can you make them sample GRE questions? :)

  70. Nathan Tuggy says:

    I have a suggestion for a subfeature for this: If there’s an attempt to open a URL for a site that’s being focus-blocked, add it to a list of URLs to read later. Ideally, there could be some means of integrating this with e.g. ReadItLater (http://readitlaterlist.com/) — e.g., have an option to run a program/script when a URL is blocked.

    This way, I could simply pop over and try to look something up in Wikipedia (for example), and instead of having to remember to look it up later (and probably forgetting) or breaking my focus while I read the article, the URL to the article would just be saved for later.

  71. vinnyverma says:

    Awesome idea! You’re definitely on the right track and I’m appreciative of your commitment to providing value

  72. Maury says:

    “Turning off the distracting parts of the Internet”

    No thanks. The only thing that “focuses” people is fear. Fear of loosing their job, reputation, income, life; as in combat.

    No amount of self-imposed automation, is going to focus anyone, IMO.

    -M.

    • John Long says:

      Wow, Maury. I would hate to be your employee/suordinate/child.
      My son (20 months old) spent 90 minutes at a recent party simply taking sodas in and out of various coolers and ice chests. He was the very definition of focused. Nothing could distract him from his task.
      And fear had nothing to do with it. He just found it INTERESTING. That’s what makes people truly focused. Fear can certainly sharpen ones attention on uninteresting tasks, but focus is much broader than your dismal view.

    • Qrystal says:

      Fear is the mind-killer. It is in turning it off that we (and the Bene Gesserit from the Dune stories) can begin to focus.

      My failure to focus is because I am afraid of the huge task on which I need to focus. Escaping, via Very Distracting websites, gives me temporary relief from that fear, despite the fact that I know that working on the task is a much better way to relieve my fear (not to mention the self-loathing that goes with it).

      I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me…

      …and I will do what must be done. In this case, I think that turning off Very Distracting things will help me get there.

  73. Joe Hass says:

    I also can’t wait for this. Will it require a new download of the software or will it automatically update?

  74. This will be a great feature.

    As an extension, I would be great if RescueTime has a “white list” feature (i.e.) irrespective of whether Rescue Time already has included a site in the distracting category, the site should be blocked if it is not in my white list.

    This could be extended to keyword level also. For example, I do not want to read blogs between 9:00 Am and 5 PM. So I would create a keyword black list which includes “blog”. Any site that has the “blog” in its URL will be blocked by RescueTime.

  75. Bernardo says:

    It is a great idea. Make an easy 7 minute focus. From my experience and from what I have read is that if you focus for 7 minutes you have a high change of staying a long time focused. You just need to make sure that for those seven minutes you are not doing anything.

  76. Do it up, this would be great.

    I’d be game for 45 minutes at a pop. To me that feels very comfortable.

    Overrides should be available, but it shouldn’t be easy. Giving a $1 to a cause I vehemently don’t support hard. Still I can see myself getting into a situation where I have to have control back.

    Larry

  77. Renee says:

    I would use this feature, as long as it could be turned off quickly if needed. For instance, some of my customers call and need me to look up something online, so I’d have to quickly get to a site.

    However, this rarely happens and more often than not, it’s just me browsing – and turning off that distraction could help! :)

  78. Emily says:

    I like this a lot. I’ve been using Leechblock for a while, but as you say, you have to do a lot of stuff like *.nytimes.com for it to work. Also I end up telling myself “I just need to send one thing in Gmail…” so I open Chrome and … it’s back to the New York Times for 20 minutes.

    I often look at my stats in RT and wish I could make them better and this seems like a really good way to give it teeth. Would definitely want to be able to edit the time before clicking “Get focus.”

  79. Emily says:

    P.S. Also like the idea of a donation to a noxious charity. That would really work on me.

  80. Chip says:

    This would be very useful to me. I would not pay for it though, so please consider putting at least a reduced set of functionality in the free version.

  81. Brr says:

    I wouldn’t pay for this feature, any way it will be included free :)?

  82. Richie says:

    Any updates on when we might see this new feature?

  83. Stu McDonald says:

    I love the idea of this feature!

    My productivity could definitely benefit from this.

  84. Fernando says:

    GREAT!!!

    For this, I use Selfcontrol (like Tim Grahl and Matt Katz) PLUS Meridian.

  85. Blake says:

    This is FANTASTIC. When I originally downloaded RescueTime, this is what I thought it was going to do for me!
    I would love it if there were two features, “Block for xx amount of time” and then also a “Block from 8am-5pm”.

    I would love to have Facebook, some Web Forums, Hulu, YouTube, etc. inaccessible for certain blocks of the day.

  86. John says:

    These applications have little benefit. Let’s be honest — if you want to be distracted I don’t think you have to be using one of these distracting services. You just have to not be thinking about the task at hand. Adding a barrier only makes it worse.

  87. [...] Tony Wright As we get ready to launch some really really cool tools that will allow to you to block the distracting parts of the web, some of our team is starting to look forward to our next major initiative…  [...]