SelfControl - Procrastination Solution? [√]


Ever had that feeling when it’s the night before an assessment and you’ve got a significant amount of work to do? You should go and do it. But first, let’s just check Facebook for a bit. Oh, I know, I’ll talk to that guy and ask him for a copy of the assignment I can hand in. He won’t give it to me? Well I guess I can put it off a bit more and ask a few more peop-- OOH, CAT GIFS!

You get the idea, and we’ve all been there. Up until a few weeks back, that sequence of events happened to me every Thursday (or Friday) night. Then I came across SelfControl.

If you’ve been looking for ways to curb procrastination and none seem to be working, this app is for you. At its root, SelfControl is a Firewall with a timer. Specify the amount of time you want to be off self-allocated sites for, and then you’re done. Poof. Not even restarting the machine resets it; you simply have to wait for the timer to finish, so be careful with the amount of time you set it for.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Let’s dive into the bits-and-bobs of the app.

The Timer

This is the first thing that you’ll see when you open the app. This window features a slider that ranges from 15 minutes (it actually starts at Disabled, but I don’t really count that) and 1 day, ranging in 15 minute intervals. Unfortunately, there’s no way to input a custom time, but I think the proximity of the intervals is enough to not make this a big issue.


There’s obviously also a Start button, but there’s also another button labeled "Edit Blacklist", which leads onto our next sub-heading.

Edit Blacklist/Whitelist

When I compared this program to a Firewall, I wasn’t kidding. SelfControl has a full Blacklist and Whitelist which allows you to choose which sites you want blocked/allowed. There’s also an Import option, although clicking on an option within the menu didn’t seem to do anything. I’m not sure if it’ll work for anyone else, but if it does, please let me know so I can update this! :-)


The Results

Once all that’s set, let’s see what we’re presented with.


Here’s the normal Microsoft website that I visited before activating SelfControl. Here’s that same page after activating:


As you can see, we’re presented with the standard Chrome internet connection error (this app works for all browsers, by the way). I tested another page to make sure it wasn’t just my net connection, and...



My Verdict

As I said in the intro, this app has helped me immensely. It’s a really fantastic app, and I encourage the procrastinators in the crowd at least try it out. Hell, you could even make an Apple Script (otherwise known as Automator) to have it start at a certain time every day. I think.

Now, this app obviously has to cost something... NOPE. It’s absolutely free, and you can grab it here! :-)