Block time-wasting websites using the Invisibility Cloak
May 16, 2007 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Gina Trapani's Invisibility Cloak is a GreaseMonkey script for Firefox that blocks time-wasting websites while you're working. Conveniently, MetaFilter is included by default. Previously: Temptation Blocker.
posted by russilwvong (12 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Of course these are just technical fixes. For a broader array of time management skills, see Alan Lakein's Get Control of Your Time and Your Life.

I'm always fascinated by how technology presents new challenges. Of course there's always been distractions, but web surfing is a more powerful distraction than most. It's a bit like electronic stimulation of the brain: click on a link, see something interesting.
posted by russilwvong at 10:35 PM on May 16, 2007

Ooo! Something interesting!
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:52 PM on May 16, 2007

I never understood technical solutions to loss of productivity that can easily be disabled by the person that's not being productive. If you want to waste time when you're bored at work, I don't imagine something like that stopping you.
posted by puke & cry at 11:04 PM on May 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Although I suppose this is geared more towards home use. Workplaces use content filters for this kind of thing.
posted by puke & cry at 11:14 PM on May 16, 2007

I never understood technical solutions to loss of productivity that can easily be disabled by the person that's not being productive.

Well...there's an inverse law of effort at work. If you now have to do X, Y and Z to waste time, its more likely you'll just say "Screw it. I should get some work done instead." Supposedly the Guilt catches up with you.

Its about easy temptation. Another analogy might be someone on a diet. You don't keep cookies around in the kitchen. Sure, you can "disable" that feature by going down to the corner store but again its about removing the easy maneuver.
posted by vacapinta at 11:19 PM on May 16, 2007

In my experience it helps just to make the browser less visible and accessible. This can be done by:

1. Using full screen mode, if provided by your application.
2. Using an anti-distraction app to hide all applications but the one you are working with. (Link goes to a fairly comprehensive list of these apps for PC and Mac at Lifehacker).
3. Using my own [self-link! self-link!] Clutter Cloak (PC) which can hide everything except one pane of the active window (e.g. your actual text in an editor).

Any of these things also have the bonus of making it easier to concentrate on work by reducing visual clutter.

Of course, when you need to use your browser for work something like this script will be more useful. It'd be fairly easy to stick a copy of Portable Firefox somewhere for fun stuff while keeping your main work browser locked down. It's all about making it harder to start slacking off without even thinking about it.
posted by teleskiving at 12:39 AM on May 17, 2007

I'd say something hilarious here but I have work to do. Gotta go!
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:59 AM on May 17, 2007

Oh, I would think that MeFi would be at the very top of such a list. With you preferences set to black text on a white background and MeFi being mostly text, it can sit unobtrusively on the desktop and even if your boss walks by. Very dangerous.
posted by caddis at 5:11 AM on May 17, 2007

I use LeechBlock myself. It's quite handy in reminding me to go to bed and to do constructive stuff.
posted by champthom at 6:00 AM on May 17, 2007

Unfortunately I have a time wasting blocker blocker.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:34 AM on May 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

So it's a MetaFilterFilter?
posted by Foosnark at 8:01 AM on May 17, 2007

So it's a MetaFilterFilter?

Yes, and this post is MetaFilterFilterFilter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:19 PM on May 17, 2007

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