Confess it or not we all have been spending just too much time on social networking and other random sites regularly. Most of us go only once a day but stay there too long. And others simply refresh pages with the excuse of business networking and social media marketing.
Here’s a great app that lets you do this as long as you decided to and makes you feel guilty at the same time. Stayfocusd is a chrome extension that keeps record of time spent on such sites and blocks it after a pre-defined time. The app lets you define sites that you think you spend too much time on. You then setup amount time you want to spent on the all those sites. After the time elapses, the sites are blocked. You cannot reset the time until next day. The timer ticks like a time bomb and makes you feel guilty of every second you spend. You will want to quickly shut the site to save time for later. It works as good as when working on a laptop without plugging in or from a cybercafe. Every minute starts to matter.
The most intelligent part of the tool is the Reddigglicious Option. When switched on, the option not only accounts for the blocked site but also links that you opened through those blocked sites. So no wondering on random articles through twitter.
There is only one problem with the app, it accounts for time with all sites combined. No grouping of sites or individual account zones.
Product managers should observe every option and each line of copy in the app. You will notice how the app is actually more about psychology then about a piece of code. Great products know the customers and their problems very well.
Leechblock is a similar addon for Firefox.
Ending Note (from the app’s challenge): The procrastinator is often remarkably optimistic about his ability to complete a task on a tight deadline; this is usually accompanied by expressions of reassurance that everything is under control. (Therefore, there is no need to start.) Lulled by a false sense of security, time passes. At some point, he crosses over an imaginary starting time and suddenly realizes, “Oh no! I am not in control! There isn’t enough time!”
Try StayFocusd to block time wasting sites and let us know if it really helps.
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]