Two weeks ago I started using Leechblock, a well-reviewed website blocker that aims to help you stay focused. How many times have you started working on something an find yourself watching the third Youtube video in a row about half an hour later? I am that person. Whenever I opened another browser tab, my first instinct was to type in facebook.com, twitter.com and my personal favorite youtube.com. Before I knew it, I lost many minutes watching youtube videos instead of getting work done.

Looking for a solution

When I started getting frustrated by this behavior I typed in "website blocker Firefox", something I picked up from Producthunt, and the first result was Leechblock. I installed the extension and added the three websites where I can waste a lot of time if I am not careful;

No fancy user interface, but a handy one packet with features.

How was the first week?

The first couple of days were an eye-opener. I know I wasted time, but I was hitting the blockade screen so much that I wonder exactly how much time I wasted before I started using the blocker;

Feature request; I would like to change the copy to "GET BACK TO WORK!".

Using it is also annoying from time to time. Sometimes friends share videos with me to ask for my opinion, but often those are Youtube links, and I would hit the blockade. I would then need to go into the settings and turn the blockade off and later on again. But last Friday I found out the blocker had an "override" functionality. That means that you can click the Leechblock icon and turn on "override" mode. It would then allow me to spend 15 minutes on the blocked website. However, it is possible to increase the number of minutes.

Pro's and cons

Pro's

  1. Save lot's of time
  2. As a consequence of 1, get more work done
  3. Become aware of how much you visit a particular website (am I addicted?)
  4. I noticed I felt less tired at the end of the day, I think this is because I consume less social media now. It can also be a result of less switching between cat videos and work.

Cons

  1. It is still annoying every time you hit a blockade when you need to access the website for work.
  2. For many people, it will be to easy to override, so it requires a little discipline
  3. Why don't I have this on my phone? Will have to wait for IOS 12 screen time feature to drop.

Website blocker extensions