Two weeks ago, I was feeling burned out and easily distracted at work. It didn’t seem to matter what I did, I could barely muster the concentration to complete my tasks. When I reached a serious point of frustration, I remembered a productivity app I had read about on a business site. The app was designed to let the user block websites that consume their time and drain their productivity. When I originally learned about the app, I thought they were interesting, but that I could muster my own willpower. In the midst of agonizing over to use the apps or not, I remembered a story my pastor told the church congregation during a sermon. It was about a man who could not stop himself from looking up pornography on his iPhone. He ultimately smashed his phone against a rock to free himself of the temptation and replaced his smartphone with a dumb phone. Finding the thought of breaking my computer to be impractical, I installed the website blocking app.

It was the best decision I could have made. Immediately my temptation disappeared along with the feeling of being burned out. Granted, it is my PC so I have the power to uninstall the app, but the reminder that I should be working is a powerful motivator. The app kept me focused during working hours and instead of being a source of temptation, the time-wasting websites became a reward once work was finished. There are times when willpower alone isn’t enough. This is especially true when you’re in a situation where you work from home and no one is directly looking over your shoulder. I’m glad such apps exist to help quash temptation when it appears.


Have you ever had a difficult time motivating yourself to complete tasks at work? If so, how did you remedy the problem?


Fujitsu Loox U/B50N in desktop mode by Steve Paine of Flickr