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Programs that limit your time on social media

Alicia is a freelance writer who covers everything from pets to cocktails, with cocktails being her favorite. Her loves in life include cheap wine, overpriced lattes, and avoiding exercise at all costs, all while trying to stay slim. She...

Boost your productivity by blocking yourself!

We’ve all been there -- we log in to Pinterest to grab a recipe and then two hours later we have four new boards and two new craft projects to try over the weekend. Or those times when we're bored at work and log in to Facebook just for a few minutes -- and before we know it, we’ve stalked all of our high school classmates and sent out at least a few texts about who's dating who. Social media is one of the biggest ways to waste time and you can do it effortlessly. If you have a lot to do, the temptation to procrastinate on Twitter can ruin your best efforts. When self-discipline fails, there’s an app for that.
Timer

Boost your productivity by blocking yourself!

We’ve all been there-- we log in to Pinterest to grab a recipe and then two hours later we have four new boards and two new craft projects to try over the weekend. Or those times when we're bored at work and log in to Facebook just for a few minutes -- and before we know it, we’ve stalked all of our high school classmates and sent out at least a few texts about who's dating who.

Social media is one of the biggest ways to waste time and you can do it effortlessly. If you have a lot to do, the temptation to procrastinate on Twitter can ruin your best efforts. When self-discipline fails, there’s an app for that.

Social media has made our lives easier in many ways, allowed us to connect to people we may not otherwise have, and is a great way to share updates with family and friends. However, it is also sucking more hours out of our day than we may realize. You can use a few applications and tools that are free or inexpensive to help limit your time on social media. If you need an intervention or perhaps Facebook rehab, these may just help.

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Rescue Time

Rescue Time’s website claims to give you back an average of nearly four hours each week that you would have spent on social media. The perks of this program include being able to block certain websites for a specific amount of time as well as track and log how much time you spend on certain websites or applications that you specify. For a week, consider just tracking how much time you spend on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Perhaps once you see that two hours each day (or more), goes to these sites you’ll realize that blocking them is a good idea. Rescue Time has a free version and a Pro version available for $6 a month. They also have a version for business owners to help them track the efficiency of all of their employees. Some businesses block access to social media altogether but with many using it to market their business, that may not be possible. When social media is essential but wasting time isn’t, this could be a great option.

Minutes Please

Minutes Please is by far the simplest version and requires no download or fee. You simply go to the site, put in the website you wish to limit and the amount of time you want to be limited to and then set the timer. Pop-ups alert you when your time is up and when time runs out the browser window automatically closes on the site you were limiting. For people with a true problem, this may not be for you -- you have the option to pause or add more time, and of course it doesn’t actually block your access to any site. However, you can use the timer for any site imaginable, and it may make you a little more aware of how much time is passing by.

Tell us: How often do you visit social media sites? Share in the comments below!

Facebook Limiter

Facebook Limiter allows users to block access to Facebook and YouTube. This is its only major downfall, as of course there are several other sites to fill your time if you can’t be on Facebook. If Facebook is your biggest concern -- namely for children who should be studying or employees who should be working -- this is a great option. Depending on the version you have, the software allows you to block Facebook entirely, limit the time spent on Facebook or make it available only during certain times of the day. They have a free version and a few other pro versions available for a one-time fee. Each computer requires a license in order to use the pro version of the software.

Learn how to protect your kids from Facebook >>

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