Cathryn reviews the essential tool that will become every freelancer's frienemy
by Cathryn Salamone (Actor/Musician)
As both goods for a future blog post and a test of my own resilience, I decided last Friday to try a social media experiment. The idea would be that I would only check Facebook twice a day, and only from a computer - no smart phone access whatsoever. Should any vital messages come my way and I've exceeded my two allotted logins for the day...shit outta luck.
I started this experiment Friday. I even posted a concise declaration on my wall saying that I will be limited my time spent on Facebook, and that a better way to contact me would be via e-mail or via that antiquated procedure of a phone call.
It lasted two hours later when I absent-mindedly checked it between sending e-mails. Balls.
I couldn't believe it. This sent me on a Googling fury searching for any sort of program, add-on, or app that could help me out. Enter StayFocusd, a Google Chrome add-on that is now my best frienemy.
StayFocusd shows up as a blue eyeball icon to the left of the address field in the Chrome browser. When you click on the eye, a timer appears. You can set whatever amount of time you can afford to spend on glossing over BuzzFeed articles and stalking high school ex's, and also list the sites that you want the timer to count. The program suggests a slew of about twenty programs that we commonly waste our free hours on, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit...even news sites like The New York Times and the BBC. Yes, even scholarly detours, though more high-brow, are still taking you away from the shit that needs to get done.
StayFocusd blocks the sites on your list once your timer has run out. And don't even think about upping your time limit - any changes made to the timer take effect the next day. There's even an option for some sort of challenge posed to you before you can make changes to future settings.
If you're a freelancer, you need to get in on this. Consider procrastination obliterated.
CATHRYN SALAMONE is an actor, writer, and singer-songwriter based in New York City. She is a recent graduate of Pace University's BFA Musical Theatre program and co-vocalist of the pop duo Panhandle Poets. www.cathrynsalamone.com
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