Sometimes you have to lock yourself to be free. An utter bullshit statement, you might be thinking.
Well, here is my story which compelled me to write this statement.
I like to pick my laptop or mobile as the first thing in the morning with an idea to work on either some job-related task, my learning goals, my reading goals, or some idea. BUT, you know exactly what comes after “but”, but till a few weeks back instead of working on something I am supposed to, I was wasting my time on everything but not work.
I used to think, what can go wrong, if I check News, Amazon, a Youtube video for 5 mins. These 5 mins turn into 10, 10 into 20, and so on. I used to tell myself since I have already wasted an hour or more in the morning, it’s okay to enjoy the whole day with whatever the internet is throwing at me. From the cheapest gadgets on Amazon to second-hand electronics available on OLX, from Ted Talks to accident videos on Youtube, I was consuming everything, but not ready to work.
I have a practice of analyzing, actually analyzing is a very formal word for me, probably I just like to think about how is my day spent today. But when I used to analyze my day in the evening, I used to feel guilty, that I wasted my whole day. I used to promise myself to have a productive day the next day, which used to give my dissatisfied mind little satisfaction. BUT…
One such evening, after wasting complete day, when my realization was hurting me, I thought let me find how can I stop myself? what other people do?
Found multiple solutions, from keeping your phone away, turning off notifications, to switching off the internet. But I knew myself, whatever I am realizing now, I will be a different person tomorrow morning again, ready to explore the new territories of the internet. I need to have a solution which automatically works for me every day.
I came across many applications which will analyze my day and tell me where exactly I am wasting my time, what are my productive hours and whatnot. But this was not what I was looking for. Finally, I found out about an app called Freedom.
Freedom is the app and website blocker application primarily. I quickly watched few introductory videos and reviews of this application on Youtube, and realized that I can setup a daily scheule of 6 AM to 5 PM, to block the sites and apps on which I majorly waste my time.
I quickly checked if it is available on all operating systems I use Android phone, iPad, and Mac OS, and yes it was.
Freedom is a paid application, though they offer some trial period. Since my realization was hurting myself very much, I wanted a way to get over guilt by having some solution at hand. I checked the price which was 20$ with some coupon for 1st year and for subsequent years it was 29$ per year. I asked myself if I am ready to pay 20$ per year to save a few hours every day, and my conscience was saying this could be the best decision. Without wasting more time analyzing and introspecting the decision I should take I quickly bought the app and started configuring it.
I configured almost every app and website from Amazon to Instagram, Photos to Video editors anything which I can think of where I generally spend my productive hours on Freedom.
Good part was I don’t have to configure each and every specific all website names, although Freedom application have ability to mention specific domain also. But I simply selected all the categories of websites which I wanted to block.
Since then, my productive hours in the day have increased 10 times, as I simply can’t open these websites or apps, not on my gadgets.
Can you uninstall Freedom app to get access to blocked applications? NO
Can you close the Freedom app or restart your device and can get access to blocked applications? NO
Can you update the configuration in the Freedom app, to un-block applications or change sessions when the session is actually running? YES.
Hawwww, but then Freedom app has a lock mode option also, and if it is turned on, then you can not change any configuration at least not unblock any app or website which you have marked blocked once the session is running. You can still add more app/website to be blocked, but simply can’t un-block during the session.
You have to wait for the session to be over, and then you can unlock applications for the next session.
But generally when the session is over, and you get access to blocked websites and applications, you don’t want to unblock it for the next session. As you know, you can use these blocked apps now, and tomorrow it is for your benefit that these will be blocked again.