Since I wrote about a free time-management workshop here, I'll pass on something new I found on Jennifer Bertram's blog. It's a free program that will disable your internet for the time you specify, so you can use your computer for a novel new activity: writing!
I wrote my first novel on a laptop that had no internet. It was not surprising that I experienced many 3K days on that laptop. I couldn't periodically check email, Facebook, writing blogs or any of the other time-suckers. The only thing I could check was how many words I wrote. And write I did.
Since I've been writing on my main computer (with an internet connection), I've found that my self-discipline is not what I thought it was. Sure, I can unplug my modem, but the minute I get an itch to do a little research, or just get stuck, I plug back in.
Enter Freedom. It's a Mac-based program (entirely free), that allows you to freeze your internet for up to eight hours at a time. If you absolutely have to get back on before your time is up, you'll have to reboot your computer.
I downloaded the program and gave it a try. Right away, my open internet pages froze, though they'll start back up for me in an hour. Freedom gives you the option of connecting to local internet networks, so if you're a journalist doing local research, you can still use it to keep you focused.
I've done a little research to see if there's an equivalent program for PCs, but I haven't found anything yet. If you know of something, leave a comment, and I'll add it to the post.
How do you keep yourself from the distractions of the internet?