Featured Productivity Technology

5 Simple Website Blockers for Studying, Working Smarter, and Increasing Productivity [Updated]

By Jon Rumens on 06 June 2020

Need a simple website blocker for studying, working, or even for keeping a team on track?

In our distracted, info-overloaded world, saying “no” can give the ultimate edge at school or in your career.

Struggling with productivity issues can feel like a very personal problem. But if you think you’re alone, think again. Distraction and procrastination have become the norm!

For example, go take a look at the constant noise on your social feeds. People posting something new every few minutes. Ahe constant barrage of tweets on Twitter. Stories shared across Snapchat.

You know these people, so YOU tell us…

Don’t You Think They’ve Got More Important Things to Do With Their Time?

Probably so…

But this constant state of distraction and playing around online when you should be busy – not something most people can control.

In fact, one study by Michigan State University back in 2013 showed that even the smallest distractions, like being interrupted by a quick message on a phone or chat app, caused twice as many errors in focus-based tasks.

Even worse, most students and employees tend to drastically overestimate their ability to continue performing as usual while these distractions go on.

And with the buzz of today’s technologies constantly in the background of our entire day, one can only guess what this costs in performance across every realm.

For many people it’s a recipe for digital distraction an even addiction.

So What Are Web Blockers?

And What Can They Do to Increase Productivity and Performance?

Even with all of the distractions, shiny new apps, and productivity killers hypnotizing us out of our own potential on a daily basis…

Hope is not lost.

New technologies always bring challenges and learning curves, sure. But as with any new technology, great solutions to this challenge are popping up to help you fight back. To regain control of your own habits and become more productive than ever before.

With students, driven professionals, and employers realizing the consequences of all our growing distractions, the use of simple website blockers and apps are on the rise.

A Web Blocker is Exactly What it Sounds Like.

It’s an app or software you install on your phone or computer to block out the internet, maybe even apps and games, as needed. So you can streamline your attention to focus only on what actually matters.

If you want a quick description of how web blocking works, watch this explainer video we made for our own web blocking productivity app, FocusMe.

You can learn more about FocusMe here.

Let’s Have a Look at a Small Handful of Web Blocking Apps Available On the Market.

Want to make some considerable progress toward your goals?

Here’s the good news.

In a world where the MAJORITY of people are distracted, spread thin, and doing the shallowest of work – the ability to focus and work more deeply becomes a superpower.

These are some of the most talked about websites and apps out there made to help you or your team stay focused and keep efficiency at a maximum.

The best part?

None of them cost more than your morning coffee…

(A few are even free.)

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Website Blocker #1: Self-Control

Self-Control is an app designed to be your own personal distraction blocker.

The way it works is pretty simple:

It permits you to add certain websites to your “blacklist” that you want to block and allows you to set a timer. Just set it for the amount of time you need to stay away from those sites and go.

The sites you blackliste will be blocked completely until the timer is up.

Before hitting that “OK” button, though you better be sure you’re really committed. Because even restarting your computer or deleting the app won’t save you from this one!

The simplicity of this application makes it a fantastic website blocker for studying and accomplishing work more efficiently than ever before.

Platform:

Mac Only…

(Sorry Windows users.)

That’s definitely the downside to this one, but we still have plenty of other options for you, too … just keep reading!

Special features:

Self-Control is an open source project.

This means you can use the code to create your own custom version of the app or hire someone to program it for you. Nice.

Price:

Free

Cons:

The Self-Control app is for your own computer and blocks sites only for yourself.

So if you’re an employer looking to block sites for your team, this one probably isn’t for you.

And remember, the application is for Mac users only!

Website Blocker #2: StayFocusd

StayFocusd is an extension for Google Chrome users, making it super easy to install with a few quick steps.

The plus side is it doesn’t take up much extra space on your computer.

It works in a rather different way than most internet blockers. Instead of putting certain sites you don’t want to access on a blacklist, you set a limit for how long you CAN access those sites.

Don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes on Facebook? Type it into the StayFocusd extension. After 30 minutes messing around on Facebook, it cuts you off, forcing you to face the withdrawals or get to work.

This can be done with an unlimited number of websites and programs. Just type them into the extension and StayFocusd will cut you off when you want – or, at least the length of time you thought you wanted before you started working. 😉

It’s a way of giving yourself a bit of wiggle room while still holding yourself accountable to your best intentions.

Platform:

Any, as long as it supports Google Chrome.

Special features:

StayFocusd doesn’t just permit you to block certain sites and applications but more specific items as well.

For example, subdomains, specific pages of sites when you want to retain access to other pages, and certain pieces of content on a particular site (such as videos, games, pics, etc.) can be blocked without having to block the whole website.

Price:

Free

Cons:

Again, StayFocusd is exclusively for the Chrome browser.

StayFocusd is another “self-discipline” tool. It’s made to sit at home only on your own computer.

This is a problem if you’re looking for a web blocker for teams or employees.

Website Blocker #3: FocusBooster

FocusBooster isn’t exactly a website blocker, but it’s quite similar in the way it helps to boost productivity and defeat procrastination.

FocusBooster works by challenging you to focus on a task for 25 minutes at a time and then take a 5-minute break.

This is known as the Pomodoro Technique.

While the Pomodoro Technique is not a new concept, FocusBooster has definitely revolutionized it and taken it to the next level.

They have turned it into a “Pomodoro Technique meets the to-do list” type of application with the benefit of seeing where most of your time was spent, what you wasted the most time on, when you were most productive, and a number of other statistics to turn you into the most productive version of yourself.

Platform:

Mac and Windows

Special features:

FocusBooster features automatic timesheets that tell you where your time went and allows you to pause your timer in a situation where you can’t prevent a distraction.

Price:

Free trial.

After the trial, multiple plans are available.

“Individual” plans are $3 per month and “Professional” plans run $5 per month.

Cons:

FocusBooster is only partially free.

You get a “Professional” plan for 30 days for free with unlimited sessions and no credit card required. After your 30 days is up, if you haven’t subscribed, you’ll roll back to a “Starter” plan.

The starter plan allows only 20 sessions per month and a lot fewer features.

The Pomodoro technique used by this app is proven to work in numerous situations. We have it in our own app, as you’ll see. But it isn’t for everyone – some people like to design a schedule that works better for their own natural work patterns.

So it’s kind of a “hit-or-miss” that might work great for some but not be a good fit for others.

Website Blocker #4: LeechBlock

LeechBlock is another extension, but this one is for Mozilla Firefox users.

LeechBlock is a great little website blocking tool that works a little differently than Google Chrome’s “StayFocusd” extension (see above).

Here’s why: the tool permits you to set up blocks for 6 sets of sites, with a specified time period for each set of sites blocked.

So, for instance, if you want Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube blocked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but only want Buzzfeed and a few other news sites blocked from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., you can do that all from one place at one time by putting them in different sets.

Platform:

Any platform as long as the user is using the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Special features:

LeechBlock is one of the few web blockers that allows you to have multiple sets of sites and have each set of sites blocked for certain amounts of time, separately.

Price:

Free

Cons:

LeechBlock is only for users that use the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

With all of the different sets of sites, options, and timeframes for each block, LeechBlock can also get a little confusing.

So it may not be so user-friendly for those who aren’t highly tech-savvy and perhaps isn’t the best website blocker for studying if you just want to jump in and get going fast.

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Website Blocker #5: FocusMe

FocusMe is essentially a productivity powerhouse.

Yes, we are biased. But owner Jon Rumens designed this tool because he’d tried just about everything else and couldn’t find anything that suited his needs. So it was designed by looking at all the shortcomings in the current market.

The “idea” of using a website blocker for productivity and excelling at school seemed great. And Jon’s procrastination was throwing his life off track. But as a software developer, he found most tools were too easy to cheat or bypass when he had a weak moment.

A procrastination tool you can turn off when you want made zero sense. So he created FocusMe with it’s deadly “force” modes.

FocusMe isn’t just a website blocker either.

It includes sa time tracker with convenient multi-colored graphs to reveal where a user’s time goes.

And a timer for the Pomodoro Technique (as discussed above), allowing you to set schedules for blocking and other items weeks in advance

FocusMe pretty much contains all of the features from the tools above packaged into one bundle. This alone makes it the best website blocker for studying and workplace productivity.

It has been featured by many of the internet’s biggest sites associated with productivity and technology, such as The New York Times, NPR.org, InsideHigherEdEntrepreneur, TechRepublic, alternativeTo, and more.

Platform:

Windows and Mac

Special features:

FocusMe has a wide range of productivity tools both for you AND your team. Time tracking software, web blocks, scheduled settings, custom themes and reports, graphs for quick reading and visual representations, centralized management capabilities, and a lot more.

And don’t forget the powerful “force mode” – you can use it to completely lock yourself out, with NO option to edit, if it’s really time to go nuclear…

It also includes a powerful pomodoro feature without confining you to the strategy if that’s not your style. What’s all the fuss about the Pomodoro Technique?

Download the FREE Guide here to become a Pomodoro Master.

FocusMe also gives you the ability to install your plan on multiple computers, allowing you to manage teams, if necessary.

Check out our features page for more info on all the things you can do with the tool – it’s 100% customizable, so there are plenty different ways to set it up.

Price:

At the time of this writing, FocusMe has a 14-day Free Trial and has different pricing plans, all of which come with a 60-day money-back guarantee:

Monthly – $5.99/month
Yearly – $39.99/year
Lifetime – $149.99/lifetime

Even with the monthly pricing plan, that’s only 16 cents per day! If you aren’t willing to spend 16 cents to make you and your team as efficient as possible, maybe it’s time to asks yourself why…

Note: If you are a student or educator, you can also save 30% on any plan! 

GET FOCUSME NOW

Cons:

Obviously, FocusMe isn’t completely free like some of the other listed website blockers. When it comes to productivity and working toward your future, though, never underestimate the old saying, “You get what you pay for.”

Since FocusMe isn’t free, it comes with extensive quick-response support if you need help getting the tool to do what you want with it. Businesses can get full customization to support their teams.

For many people, the added assistance in overcoming distraction and digital addiction makes it well worth the cost.

What Can One of These Website Blockers Do For Your Productivity and Overall Results?

Holding Distractions at Bay is the First Step In Living a Different Kind of Life…

No matter what tools or applications you decide to use in your mission to reach the most productive version of yourself…

You’re already ahead of most people by simply wanting to improve!

However, any undertaking worth setting out on requires the right tools and strategies for changing the game.

And creating the types of habits that will stick.

Take a look at a few of these tools, figure out which one is best for you, and go start crushing your goals!

GET FOCUSME NOW

6 Responses

  1. Whenever I get serious about achieving something without being distracted, I quickly turn off my phone. I’m a social media addict, and this doesn’t work for me often. However, FocusMe seems to be a must-get tool to improve my productivity. Looking at its features, it meets my need.

  2. I want a tool that block all internet and want to select allawable once and i think this one will be the greatest option for peoples

  3. that tool allows only what you want to poor a certain amount of web address at your home , is one of the greatest focus and i think you are going to fight google and youtube for this option
    this option is demanded by millions of peoples who claims to be moral peoples who want to restore there social life from internet addiction

  4. All of them except the last one can be simply deleted(removed from chrome) in anytime even when it is blocking websites, and all the blocked websites just gets unblocked and BOOM, you will be watching Youtube the night before a due date free from any blockers that you’ve added when you wanted yourself to actually work. If you want something that actually helps you to stay focused, you gotta pay.

  5. I want a tool that block all internet and want to select allawable once and i think this one will be the greatest option for peoples

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