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I am looking for something similar to RescueTime or SelfControl, both of which are available for Mac OS.

Basically, I wish to enter a list of websites that are to be blocked, and then set a timer for when the block should expire.

Any suggestions for Windows programs that does this?

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Interestingly, the "procrastication" tag only contains questions relating to browser plugins, router MAC addresses and hosts files. None of which would solve this problem. –  Daniel Beck Jan 27 '11 at 20:46
    
@Daniel: This is a site for tech Q&A, not a psychological self-help group. Understanding the underlying anxieties is crucial, but nevertheless off-topic. –  Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Mar 7 '11 at 13:29
    
@Tadeusz What are you referring to? I was just surprised that nobody thought of asking this particular question before, it seems so obvious for the topic at hand. I'm also quite familiar with what this site is about. –  Daniel Beck Mar 7 '11 at 15:48
    
@Daniel: Procrastination is a psychological problem, not a technological one. Out-of-control technology usage might be an important symptom of procrastination, and it might be used as an aid in fighting procrastination. Still, there's only so far you can change in your browser configuration without reconfiguration of your wetware. Disclaimer: I'm not a psychologist, just a simple geek. –  Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Mar 7 '11 at 19:07
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4 Answers

RescueTime is available for both Windows and Mac.

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Definitely worth a point, since I'd missed this fairly relevant detail. However, I will leave the question open for a bit, in the hopes that someone will know of an alternative that doesn't require a subscription. /Jonas –  Joda Jan 27 '11 at 20:49
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Have a look at K9 Web Protection. It is a child's Internet blocking tool, but have used myself with great success. You can block for certain amounts of time, certain days of the week, all the time, and can any time override it with a password or enter a mode that has no restrictions (with the password of course).

It's free. Highly recommend!

More info from another answer of mine to a different question:

K9 Web Protection is a child's (or children's) web filtering and blocking software that is extremely configurable. It offers: web-page filtering, word block, site block, category block, and the Internet time feature. You can set what hours of the day you want the Internet on the computer to be blocked, and can customize each day of the week. All settings are accessed via the web browser, and are protected by a password, which you could give to someone else and not know yourself if you wanted to completely block access. It works cross-browsers; one configuration covers Internet Explorer, Firefox, and others all one the same machine.

A big point is that you can turn off different aspects of the program, like turn off the webpage filtering, and just use the time feature, or whatever...

Absolutely no crapware or trialware or anything, just plain free! all you have to do is give them your email for a product key, and it works...they don't send any spam, or bug you about anything...

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You can use LeechBlock for Firefox and StayFocusd for Chrome.

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You asked for a stand-alone program, but if you are a dedicated firefox user, you can use the LeechBlock add-on.

Its strengths:

  • you can set fairly complicated time rules for different self-defined sets of sites, including things like "between 9 and 17 on weekdays, I can spend a total of 20 minutes on sites from this list, but no more than 5 minutes per hour".
  • You can use wildcards for site addreses to make very detailed exclusions, e. g. you can forbid *.yahoo.com, but create an exception for mail.yahoo.com.
  • I think that it even had a function to block the changing of settings for a predefined time schedule (so if you have blocked Kongregate between 9 and 17 o'clock, run into the block at 13:00 and decide to remove the block, you have to wait untill 17:00 before you can remove it). Or just give the password to somebody else if you don't trust yourself.
  • The complete functionality is available for free (I think RescueTime is a freemium).

The weakness: if you cannot trust yourself to be deterred by the "blocked" sign, you will probably end up using another browser for procrastination.

You could also take a look at the built-in features of Windows parenting tools, but I doubt that they give so much flexibility.

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