I am a chronic procrastinator. Does that sound like you, too? Do you frequently open up your Internet browser, intending only to check your "most important" websites, only to suddenly look down and realize four hours have passed and you haven't gotten ANY work done? If so, you're not alone!
Many people use the Internet as a distraction device, even if it's what they're meant to be using to get their work done. According to a Salary.com survey in 2012, up to 64% of people say they visit non-work related websites while at work! Not only does this make you look like a bit of a slacker, you're hurting the company as well by not being productive. Even if you're not employed right now, you can't afford to goof off! Treat job searching as your full time job.
So, how can you stop the procrastination? If pure willpower isn't enough, there are some handy browser extensions and add-ons to help you out. Extensions customize your browser and plug-ins make extensions work.
One of them is StayFocusd, an extension for Google Chrome. The extension is highly customizable, and allows you to block access to specific websites you know will distract you for the length of time you determine. For example, if you spent too much time on your Twitter feed, and you work from home, you can set Stayfocusd to block Twitter during your preset work hours. Once work is over, Twitter will be unblocked until your next work day.
If that's not enough, you can even use the "Nuclear" option to block access to the entire Internet. The downside to that is that you can't undo Nuclear and you must wait 24 hours for the Web to be unblocked. Assuming you don't need the Internet to do work however, it seems like a good option.
For those of us who don't use Chrome, Mozilla Firefox offers an add-on called Leechblock. It works much the same way as StayFocusd does, allowing you to block sites for specific amounts of time and specific days of the week. Both apps have the ability to make going in and changing options difficult if you don't want to make it easy for you to disable them. Leechblock allows you to have the program generate a random access code (up to 64 characters) that you must enter if you want to change the options, while StayFocusd requires you to copy a paragraph perfectly.
Also, if you want to allow yourself a bit of a break from your work but don't trust yourself to disable the add-on completely, there's an option to allow yourself "x" amount of time every "y" amount of time. I currently have mine set at 15 minutes every hour. It allows you to instantly "Lockdown" for a period of time, so you can get work done immediately.
For all their helpful qualities, both apps do have the problem of only being browser specific. If you really wanted to, you could always just disable or uninstall the app, or even just use a different browser to get around the blocks. Overall though, if you have a hard time not being distracted by all the temptations of the Internet, check out StayFocusd and Leechblock!