Help stop procrastination |

Help stop procrastination

ERIN PHEILspecial to the daily

I feel fortunate that I rarely fall into the evil hands of procrastination. I remember finishing my reading assignments days ahead of schedule while in the fourth grade. I remember competing in 3 a.m. Connect Four tournaments in college while my roommates rushed to piece together term papers due at 8:30 a.m. (I’d completed my paper the previous week). I remember not being able to empathize with a pal of mine when she recently confessed that the Minesweeper game on her computer kept her from meeting several work deadlines.And surely, sitting in front of a computer for several hours a day won’t keep procrastinators from their procrastinating ways. For every time-management application, online scheduler, or e-mail reminder utility, there’s an online poker game, funny video website, or Instant Messaging service. It’s just too darn easy for some people to get swept into “one more game” of Solitaire, read “just a couple more” online news stories, or talk “just five more minutes” with a best friend via Instant Messenger. It’s for these types of people – people with procrastinating tendencies – that a little application called “Temptation Blocker” was created.A fellow by the name of Adam Howell built Temptation Blocker for himself after searching (to no avail) for a program that would keep him from procrastinating while he was at his computer.Temptation Blocker allows you to add programs to a “blocked” list and then set a timer for how long you’d like to block these programs. Once you hit the “Get Work Done!” button, say goodbye to procrastinating (on your computer, at least). Each time you attempt to access one of the programs on your blocked list, a box will pop up telling you how much time you have left before you can access it again.Adam Howell is quite clever. He even built Temptation Blocker so that it takes a bit of effort to turn off once you’ve hit the “Get Work Done!” button. To turn off Temptation Blocker, you need to enter in a 32-character string of letters and numbers; this obstacle acts as a deterrent from accessing blocked programs (but still allows you to do it in case it’s absolutely necessary).The other neat part of the program is that you can save Profiles. Let’s say every time you need to write a work proposal, you know you should block Internet Explorer, the poker game you downloaded, Outlook Express, and your AOL Instant Messenger. You can save these programs in a Profile (like “My Proposal Profile”) and the next time you need to write a proposal, you simply choose this profile. Temptation Blocker will immediately know what programs to block for you.One user of Temptation Blocker commented that the program could make a great Child Safety Program – just set up a profile for your child, set the timer, and you’re set.Let’s see . . . what else is there you should know? Oh yes. The program only works on PCs (sorry Mac users). The program is free. And you can download and learn more about Temptation Blocker at this website address: fun and let me know if any of you procrastinators out there found this useful. See you next time.eRin pheiL is the owner of timeforcake, a website and graphic design company in Frisco. She can be reached at (970) 668-0709 or

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