Make it so I can't read your answers to this question, please
October 30, 2015 8:03 AM   Subscribe

What are the current best browser extensions for Chrome and Safari for leech blocking / stopping online time wasting? In particular, I want an extension that sets time per hour rather than time per day that can be wasted.

Leech Block's best feature was that you could set it to allow yourself, say, 5 minutes per hour of Facebook time. All the other site blocking extensions I can find allow you to set daily limits, but if I give myself an hour of Metafilter a day, I will use it all up in the first hour and then be blocked for the rest of the day. I'd like something that's more Pomodoro friendly -- so that I can see a little Metafilter in between bouts of concentrated work time, but not waste entire days on Metafilter (or Facebook, or Ravelry).

Leech Block, though, is a Firefox extension, and I use Safari and Chrome, not Firefox.

So what are my options?
posted by jacquilynne to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Right now, on Chrome, I'm using a combination of Strict Workflow, and Pay the Piper.

Pay the Piper is supposed to by tied to a to-do list, but I found it didn't really work that well for me that way, and instead my list of "distracting sites" there is my "absolute" blacklist of sites that I will find a way to waste a whole day on regardless. Metafilter is one of those sites, so it's nice that I can "pause" it when I feel like I can trust myself.

Strict Workflow is my Pomodoro timer. My blacklist there includes *all* of the distracting sites that I shouldn't be on during my 25 mins of Pomodoro "on" time. Strict Workflow will tell me when my 5 minute breaks are up, but it will not force me to start another 25 work session right away (I have to click the button to go into Work mode).

So, on days when I *really* need to buckle down, I have Pay the Piper on, and go pomo-pomo-pomo using Strict Workflow. On looser days, I might pause Pay the Piper, and use Strict Workflow to keep me on task, but if one of my 5 minute breaks on MetaFilter ends up being 10 minutes because I'm answering an Ask, so be it.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:49 AM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I liked Stay Focused on chrome more than leech block, actually. It seemed to be better at knowing when I was actually in a tab. Not 100 percent sure it has all the features up want but definitely check it out.
posted by ropeladder at 10:23 AM on October 30, 2015

I use Self Control which blocks all sites on a blacklist (or, only allows sites from a white list) for a given period of time. (I'm currently on a 15 minute break in my usual 45/15 cycle at this very moment!)

So, not good for "I want 10 minutes on this site, and 5 minutes on this site per day" but good for a "I have 15 minutes to goof off now before I reset the timer."
posted by damayanti at 10:49 AM on October 30, 2015

Response by poster: I'm using Rescue Time right now. It does the thing where you can block sites for a certain time and then you're free to use them until you restart the timer. Which is better than nothing, but has the small problem of restarting the timer. Leech block was ideal because I could say '10 minutes of wasted time per hour' and it would stick to that, without me having to restart it.

One thing I do like about RescueTime is that it's cross-platform -- it blocks things in both Safari and Chrome. I just wish it had that one feature.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:38 AM on October 30, 2015

One thing I do like about RescueTime is that it's cross-platform -- it blocks things in both Safari and Chrome. I just wish it had that one feature.

Forgot to mention! Self control is an app, and thus also cross-platform; it blocks any access to the site from your computer and there's no way to disable the program (up to and including things like restarting the computer and uninstalling the program, although one of my more computer-savvy friends figured out how to get around it, but promised not to tell me how.)

But yeah, it does have the "need to restart the timer" problem.
posted by damayanti at 12:04 PM on October 30, 2015

edit: Shoot, I misread your question. You could alter your hosts file to block a website across all browsers. Although that's a Windows thing. Not sure if Mac has a similar under-the-hood thing like that.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:53 PM on October 30, 2015

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