Suggestions for restricting my internet use at work

I love the internet. What a great way to catch up on news, sports, gardening tips, music videos and see pictures of pretty lasses! And of course to contribute to fighting ignorance… But I think I am spending too much time there, especially at work. Every time I lose a bit of momentum on the task I am doing, I find myself wasting time on the web.

I am sure I am not the only one with this problem, so would like to ask Dopers what clever tricks that have found to reduce their internet use at work. Are there any software programs that I could get to restrict my use? I can’t remove Firefox completely because I do need the web for some legitimate work-related activities.

Suggestions appreciated!

If you are already using AdBlock in Firefox, I imagine you could add entire sites to it that you frequently visit.

You can edit your hosts file (it’s a text file) to redirect the site to … nothing. Random google how-to link:

I’ve done the hosts file thing. IT seems stupid because you can obviously go edit it back, but I found it really worked. The urge to hit a few news sites/forums seems to be more of an automatic thing. I hit the link, it doesn’t work, I go back to what I was (suppose to be) doing.

I have no experience with such software, but I am sure there is “parental control” type software that would allow you to control what times or how many minutes a day your (inner) child is allowed to access the internet.

Some workplaces, including my own, are pretty insistent on no foreign software on one’s computer. What’s really stupid of them, IMHO, is that while we have access to the big, wide Internet, they took the basic freebie MS games (solitaire, Minesweeper, etc.) off our computers years ago.

I guess some people were spending all day playing solitaire, but c’mon, it’s a hell of a lot easier to spend all day surfing the Web, and many of us have a more limited tolerance for Minesweeper. I know that if I could play a few games of Minesweeper while taking a break between projects, I’d be back to work in 10 minutes, tops. But there’s never any telling how far one will get sucked into the Web, once you’re there.

Get the leechblock addon for Firefox.

Thanks Mobius! I don’t seem to have Adblock working, but I tried the Hosts file and it works pretty well. I am pleased to see that adding the root URL for a page seems to block access to all the sub-pages with the same root.

I came in here to suggest leechblock - I see Implicit got there first, but I’ll second the recommendation then, if you use FireFox; it’s the only way my dissertation ever got finished!

I can see this as people are idiots and will put all sorts of things on a computer. Some programs will conflict with the main program if the drivers don’t like each other. This was a big thing were I used to work.

Another problem is pirated software. Our IT dept where I worked last would allow you to put software on, but they had to OK it and you had to prove you had bought it and had a license for it.

At this job, we could access the Internet only by logging on through the company portal. Which didn’t seem to filter out anything, but I obviously never tried anything too risky, as if you’re going through a portal then they can see everything you do.

I third Leechblock.

As a matter of fact, I installed it on my work PC this past week, blocking one site only. I can only browse it 5 minutes per hour.

The site is The Dope, of course!

Virtual companies use some form of tracking software for their employees to monitor their work hours and computer usage even if they are working remotely. You can apply the same to your personal work too.

Programs like Rescue Time works in the background and can be configured to totally block websites. Other programs though, like Time Doctor (which I prefer) are non-restrictive and are used to manage your daily priorities and track the time you spend on different tasks and even websites which may be considered unproductive.

Depending on what and how you would need it, you can choose from either approach.