Continuing the story of what I’ve done to manage my environment…

Having taken care of most of the problems around the house, I turned to my biggest distraction of all — the Internet.  The thing that is sitting right there as I type.  Where I can hit a wall, and be sitting there staring at the screen, struggling to find the words I’ve lost and suddenly my hands are opening the email, or worse, Internet Explorer. Drudge… Powerline… The Diplomad (my favorite)… One link leads to another… and another…

And before I know it an hour passes and I’ve done nothing except sit there, getting stiff, getting tired of sitting, getting tired of reading and when I finally drag myself away from it, whatever I  was working on is now Far, Far Away.

I have tried before to deal with this problem — going so far as to pull the plug on the modem just to deny myself Internet access. But it’s in the other room, it’s a pain to get up and do it, a pain to have to go back and plug it back in when I’m done, then wait for it to go through its rebooting process.  And that’s if I don’t manage to drop the cord behind the cabinet it’s sitting on. Or forget to replug it entirely.

Plus it cuts off my hubby’s computer from the Internet as well, meaning I can’t use it when he’s around. And sometimes when I plug it back in, the connection doesn’t come back right, so then I have to reboot the whole computer.

And, even with all that, it’s too easy to get up and go in there and plug it back in, when I really, really don’t want to work.

Well, I did some research on distractions faced by work-at-homers or “telecommuters,” as they’re officially called, and in the course of that discovered the most amazing software.  It’s called Freedom. It works with Macs and PC’s and with only a few clicks you can protect yourself from Internet access for whatever time you desire to set up — from as little as 15 minutes, all the way up to 8 hours.

During that time the program is deliberately unresponsive but if you’re really set on regaining your Internet access all you have to do is reboot your computer.  (Which is a little more involved than going into the other room to plug in the cord) If you stick with it, though, once the time you’ve set it for has elapsed, a little window appears announcing that your Freedom session has ended and giving you the option to start another, or quit the program.

I’ve been setting it for three hours every morning. It’s awesome. I love it!  So easy to use and along with turning off the phone ringers and answering machine sound, has created a little pocket of uninterrupted time I can actually work in.

Everyday last week I came into the office and worked a minimum of 4 hours.

That hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long.

The program’s downloadable online and costs $10. Takes almost no time to download and install. If you’re having trouble staying away from the Internet and want to check it out, click HERE.

2 thoughts on “Freedom!

  1. Brandi

    One of the things that I appreciate about you is your transparency with your writing struggles! In my pursuits, I often feel the pressure to try and have it all together, the ‘never let them see you sweat’ attitude. It is amazing that when we identify a problem area and do some research, it can become obvious that others have travelled down the same road and found a way to overcome it. I love allegory; it is one of the deepest ways that God shows me truth, and one of the reasons that I love your books so much. The truth that I see here pulled at my heart to comment upon your post. If we as Christians were more transparent with each other, maybe even the unbelievers in our lives, that we don’t have it all together, that we struggle with sin, that sometimes we fall…wouldn’t that open up a dialogue? Wouldn’t it lead to discussions about paths to victory? Wouldn’t it make us more flawed, but more approachable? Secrets destroy, truth sets us free. Thank you Jesus for being the Truth! This truth may be just for me, but I felt a pull to comment.

    1. karenhancock

      Thanks for the comment, Brandi. I’m delighted to know you’ve enjoyed my books and found them worthwhile from a spiritual standpoint… As to your observation/suggestion… while it’s always good to be honest in one’s relationships, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that everyone should be transparent with everyone they meet. I’ve come to believe my spiritual gift lies in the area of encouraging other believers, part of which is to be more transparent about my own struggles, both in the blog and with friends. Not everyone has this kind of gift, though I think we’re all called to suffer so we might be able afterward to comfort others going through similar straits.

      The idea of pretending we have it together when we don’t, however, is just, well… maybe a subject for an entire post… I’ll have to go and think about that some more…


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