Increase Productivity with URL Blockers!

August is in full swing and almost all area schools are back in session. Two weeks ago we posted several online resources that make a student's life easier. The downside of going online to use those tools is how distracting the internet can be. It can be easy to think "I'll just check Facebook quickly" and look up to find that an hour has passed. And don't even get us started on Pinterest!

There are several tools available to help keep students (and anyone else working on computers) on task.

One of the most important tools to have when trying to stay focused is by using what's called a URL blocker. The URL is just another name for the web address. For example, the URL for this site is A URL blocker can keep you from visiting certain sites during a set period of time. This can be helpful if you just can't help checking Facebook or Twitter on your computer when you should be writing a paper or looking up information. It can help for those working from home as well.


Our favorite URL blocker is a free add-on called Stayfocusd. It works only on the Google Chrome browser. (If you use Firefox, don't worry - we'll discuss it next!)
Stayfocusd increases productivity by temporarily blocking time-wasting websites. There are several different options in blocking websites - including blocking all websites and or allowing only one or two websites. (We might suggest leaving the library site unblocked, of course.) Stayfocusd allows you set a time limit and even includes a countdown clock to let you know how long these will be blocked.


LeechBlock works in the same way that Stayfocusd does, but it works only on Firefox. 
This add-on is free to download from Mozilla and allows you to block select websites or all websites for a specified amount of time. 

These are just two examples of URL blockers available. You can find more by searching the web, but like with any program, be cautious of what sites you download from. It's always best to download from a reputable and well-known site, like Google Play Store or the Mozilla add-on store. 

What are some of your favorite ways to stay productive? Comment and let us know what you think! If you'd like more information on these or any other library services, you can call your local library branch or contact us on Facebook or Twitter