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Tools can keep you from wasting time on social media

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Distractions about online, but there's hope for those who need to get some work done. (Source: Wikicommons) Distractions about online, but there's hope for those who need to get some work done. (Source: Wikicommons)

(RNN) - You know the deal. You log on to the computer for a specific purpose - that Southern Gothic novel you're working on - but decide to quickly check out what's trending on Twitter.

Then you notice Sherlock is trending. Thirty minutes later, you're deep in a discussion about the merits of Sherlock versus Elementary, and you haven't accomplished anything you set out to do.

So how do you keep a social media detour from derailing your productivity? There are apps and extensions created for those who need a willpower boost.

Freedom - Available for $10, with a 60-day money-back guarantee, the app locks out the internet for an amount of time specified by the user. The app is compatible with Windows, Mac and Android, but can be turned off by rebooting the device.

Anti-Social - Available for $15, with a 60-day money-back guarantee, the app blocks distracting sites like Facebook and Twitter for as much time as the user needs and can't be turned off. It works with Windows and Mac.

StayFocusd - An extension for Google Chrome, it increases productivity by limiting the amount of time spent on time-wasting websites. Once the time limit is reached, those sites are inaccessible for the rest of the day.

Facebook Antiprocrastinator - The Google Chrome extension removes the most distracting bits of Facebook: the newsfeed, advertising, suggested friends and pages. Users can still view and write on walls, chat, read messages and take part of groups.

Morphine - This add-on for Google Chrome helps people use social media in moderation. It gives users a balance of time from which they can draw to visit time-wasting websites. That balance is refilled slowly.

Leechblock - The Firefox add-on blocks websites for specified times of day and duration. Those websites, however, can still be accessed via password.

SelfControl - The free Mac application helps users avoid distracting websites during a specified timeframe, not allowing access to the sites even if the computer is restarted or the app is removed.

Concentrate - The app for the Mac blocks specified websites and apps for the amount of time needed to work on a project. It goes even further to pave the way for productivity by automatically launching specified apps, websites and documents the user designates as needed for the project. Available for $29, people can evaluate it for 60 hours free.

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