Staying Focused

In this day and age, it can be hard to stay focused. Add some adult ADHD into the mix, and websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, or just about anything that changes with a click of your refresh button can hinder your productivity at some of the worst times. In procrastinating this evening, I ran across a neat little Chrome extension that helps to keep you on track.

I recently wrote about my new love affair with Chrome in my post Teaching/Research Tools: Google Chrome and Reader, a post in which you can find out about the browser and using extensions. StayFocusd (by Transfusion Media) is an extension that limits the time you can spend on certain websites. After installing, a little clock icon appears in your browser toolbar. Click that on a site that’s problematic for you and after a specified amount of time (the default is 10 minutes) you won’t be allowed to browse that page until the next day.

The controls and settings are pretty simple and the software tries to keep you honest by discouraging you from changing your settings in the upward direction (i.e., adding more time). Here’s what it looks like from the settings screen:

If you try to change the time, it reminds you why you’ve installed the program in the first place:

Insist on changing it, and hilarity ensues:

And finally:

It’s a cute set of reminders and an admission of sorts. Ultimately, you have to want to be more focused for this extension to work. Not only can you change times (though not for a site once your clock has started for the day), you’ve got a “nuclear option” in the ability to just disable the extension, which is something it can’t prevent you from doing.

Still, the extension is an interesting idea and it may be that extra little bit that you need in order to TCB, quit procrastinating, and stay focused.