Home Use Chrome, Stay Focused: New Plugin Limits Frivolous Browsing

Use Chrome, Stay Focused: New Plugin Limits Frivolous Browsing

Our friend Warren Benedetto of Transfusion Media has just released a spiffy Chrome extension that helps Internet users stay focused on the task at hand during the work day.

Akin to LeechBlock for Firefox, Benedetto’s StayFocusd attempts to correct fundamental productivity issues associated with the social Web by allowing users to only spend an allotted amount of time on a “gray list” of websites. For example, if you give yourself 20 minutes a day to screw around on Twitter and Facebook, StayFocusd will block your access to those sites once it’s determined that your 20 minutes have been used.

We’ve all experienced a problem similar to the one outlined in the StayFocusd introduction. “You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, browsed the trending topics on Twitter, read your RSS feeds, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia, vanity Googled yourself, cyber-stalked your ex, looked at all your high-school crushes’ Facebook photos and lost a week’s pay playing online poker. What you haven’t done is WORK.”

The extension steps in where the average user’s self-control or restraint falls short. As one of many users who’ve switched from Firefox to Chrome and found they still wanted and needed certain familiar Firefox extensions, Benedetto said he lost several hours each day to Chrome’s unbridled browsing before realizing that LeechBlock’s absence was killing his productivity. So he took matters into his own hands, wrote his Chrome extension and released it to Google’s Chrome gallery.

The extension is highly customizable, letting users block or permit whole sites, only certain subdomains or even specific pages.

“That means,” writes Benedetto, “you can block delicious.com, while still allowing access to delicious.com/save so you can add new bookmarks. Or you can block Google.com/Reader while still having access to the rest of Google’s sites. Or you can block the entire Digg.com domain, and recapture 4-6 hours of wasted time per day.”

We’d install this awesome extension ourselves if our job didn’t entail, you know, wasting time on the Internet.

Transfusion Media is an a L.A.-based web studio specializing in graphic design, Facebook apps, Flash widgets and general interactive and web development. Benedetto has previously been a source for us, opining intelligently on the state of Web design in a 2009 article directed toward startups.

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