One of the hardest things in the world today is trying to get something done when you’re on an internet-connected device.
You’ve got notifications flying in left, right, and center. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit are just a keypress away. What happens if a major newsworthy event happens in the 15 minutes you don’t check Twitter? Have you checked the NFL scores lately?
Today, I’m going to show you how to easily block distracting websites using a popular new free application called Cold Turkey.
First, download Cold Turkey from here.
It’s a free application that lets you block all sorts of distracting sites. There’s a free basic version and then an upgraded Pro version.
Here’s how it works:
-You can block an unlimited number of websites, either by entering their names manually or by inputting text files that have domains
-Unlike other browser extensions that block websites in each browser, Cold Turkey actually blocks websites across all browsers. So if your distraction-seeking mind ever wanted to switch to say, Microsoft Edge to check Facebook quickly, you won’t be able to do that with Cold Turkey. The software works system-wide.
-You can also Lock Settings to block a certain site for a certain period of time. If you need to be distraction-free for just an hour, for example, you can block a certain site for that period of time. You can also block sites for up to 3 days at a time.
-Or, Block Groups to block a group of apps and websites for certain periods of time. Let’s say you’re writing about a news story and want to check CNN and Reddit for information, but don’t want to get distracted by Facebook. You can do that by assigning certain blocks to Groups A, B, or C.
–Schedule blocks at certain times of the day. If you want to focus on getting work done in the morning while avoiding distractions, you can set it from 9am to 12pm every morning, for example.
–The Pro version of Cold Turkey lets you block executable files from running on your computer, so you won’t be tempted to fire up Steam in the middle of the day or run other distracting software
-The Pro version also lets you block certain parts of a website, or whitelist certain parts of a website.
That pro version, by the way, is priced at a one-time fee of $19. There’s also a recent promo priced at $19 that comes with Writer’s Block Pro.
The software works on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
The only major limitations of the free version are the lack of scheduling, the inability to block applications, and the inability to add exceptions for certain sites. You also cannot block a site for longer than 3 days at a time (which means you’ll need to continue refreshing the block every 3 days if you want to block a site long-term).
I don’t know about you, but I’m equally as distracted by my mobile device as I am to whatever is on the desktop screen. Fortunately, the creators of Cold Turkey have announced that a mobile version is coming soon.