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Productivity through Isolator and Freedom

Mark Mzyk | May 26, 2008

Let’s pick on Paul Graham for a bit, both because he’s famous and because if I drop his name it might lead to a spike in traffic to my blog.  Maybe.  I am under no delusion that something like that might actually happen.

Paul recently published an essay, Disconnecting Distraction, in which he speaks of the difficulties of over coming distraction and actually getting work done.  I commiserate with Paul in this area.  Those who know me know that I love to procrastinate.  My current favorite form of procrastination is blogs.  It is one of the reasons I have failed of late to write longer and more interesting posts.

While Paul goes to such extremes as having two computers to do work on, if you happen to own a Mac, there is software available that will gladly remove distractions for you without the need for a second computer.

The first app is Isolator.  Its genius?  It hides all of your background windows, blacking them out so that you can only focus on whatever you happen to have in the foreground.  A must have for any writers.

The second app is even more insidious and potential more productivity forcing than Isolator.  It’s called Freedom.  It frees you from the Internet.  You didn’t know you needed freeing from the net, but you do.  You give Freedom the number of minutes you want to be off of the net, and it shuts down your wireless and ethernet networking for the specified amount of time.  The insidious part?  There’s no way to turn it back on until time is up, unless you do a reboot.

Combine Isolator and Freedom and you’re sure to see a jump in productivity in short order.

The best part?  Both are free, so you have no excuses to procrastinate.