January 27, 2010

No, I'm not talking about the indentured servitude contract Chris Richman and I agreed to when we booked passage here from the Old Country. We're still in thrall to our master and doing dishes to earn our room and board. Rather, I'm talking about a little piece of shareware called Freedom. It forcibly stops users from accessing the internet. (That little clock to the right is its desktop icon.)


If you're anything like me, then you find it hard to stop yourself from checking things throughout the day. Your four email accounts, your Twitter feed, internet messenger windows, that time-suck called Facebook, Goodreads, this blog, and a bazillion other inveigling things worm their way into your serene office and distract you from the Work That Must Be Done. Some of you have self control and practice "restraint." (What is that?)Well, bully for you. Me, I got no self control. Instead, I use Freedom. I turn it on, enter the number of minutes I want to work undisturbed, and then get down to business. The only way to turn off Freedom once it is activated is by shutting down and rebooting the computer. Kind of a drastic measure, some might say, but I don't know: I'll sign on for drastic measures if it helps me get my work done.But how do you disconnect from the welter of the outside world? How do you unplug? Or am I the only one with this ridiculous little problem?(Freedom is for Mac OSX; all of you PC people will have to go the simpler route of just turning off your WiFi and exercising some self-restraint already.)