If you get pulled away from tasks by every ding, whistle, and ring on your digital devices, well, you’re like most of us. But keep in mind that other people aren’t interrupting you; you are interrupting yourself. (This is tough love, folks.) The way to break free from technology is, ironically, to employ it: There are a slew of applications you can download to block electronic distractions. Freedom (macfreedom.com, $10) disables all roads to the Internet for an allotted amount of time. And cheating isn’t easy—to sneak back online early, you have to reboot your computer. RescueTime (free, rescuetime.com) tracks your every online move and provides easy-to-read, painfully revealing charts. Seeing your wasted time in pretty graphs is a bracing slap in the face. (That’s how many hours I spent on Facebook yesterday?) And LeechBlock (free, addons.mozilla.org) works with the Internet browser Firefox so you can block certain sites—or all of them—either perpetually or during specific periods. If you have an addiction to those online sample sales with new offerings every 15 minutes, you can use this app to take away temptation. Same principle as keeping your favorite cookies out of the house.
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