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Manage Distractions with SelfControl (Mac Users)

SelfControl is a free and open-source application for Mac OS X (10.5 or above) that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start." Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites--even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

 

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If you do not already have SelfControl installed on your Mac, download it from here.  Unpack the archive and move the file to your Applications folder.

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  1. Launch SelfControl.  You may need to confirm that you want to open SelfControl.

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    The layout of SelfControl is very simple and minimalist.

  2. Edit your Blacklist.

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  3. To add sites to your Blacklist, click the “+” symbol on the lower left portion of the window, and when the text box becomes available, simply type the domain of the site (for example, “facebook.com” (without the quotes) into the box.  Wash, rinse and repeat with domains such as twitter.com and so on.

  4. Be honest with yourself about what sites are distracting to you.
  5. When you have completed your Blacklist, close the Domain Blacklist window and set SelfControl to the amount of time you want to stay distraction-free.
  6. Click the Start button when you are ready.

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  7. You may need to enter the administrator password for your computer.

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  8. Here’s the catch: once started, it can not be undone by the application, by deleting the application, or by restarting the computer – you must wait for the timer to run out.

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