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Get Control of Your Work Day With LeechBlock

Groovy FreewareCan you accurately calculate how much of your day gets sucked into the time vacuum of YouTube, Facebook and other addictive time waster websites? 

It happens to everyone, you sit down and start writing an email to your boss when you notice a message from a co-worker linking to a funny ninja cat video or comic.  Before you know it you’ve watched the first one and moved onto 6 more, whoops there goes 2 hours that should have been work time.  Solution??  LeechBlock!

Install LeechBlock for Firefox

1. Visit the Official Mozilla Add-on Page for LeechBlock and Click Add to Firefox.

download leechblock for firefox

2. The software installation pop-up should appear. Once available, Click Install Now.

install leechblock for firefox

3. Once installation is complete, you’ll need to Restart Firefox before you can use LeechBlock.

restart firefox after installing the add-on

How To Configure And Use LeechBlock

4. After you’ve finished installing and restarting Firefox, a new LeechBlock option will appear in the Tools drop-down menu.  The first place to go to is LeechBlock > Options.

firefox tools leechblock menu

5. In the options menu, LeechBlock does something groovy and puts you right where you need to be to start setting it up.  Under Block Set 1 > What to Block enter a name for this set of websites.  Generally I like to name my sets after the type of media that each site encompasses, so in this example I’ve called mine Video Sites.  Now in the bigger text box below start typing out website addresses.  Be sure to Press Enter after each site because they need to each be on their own line.  Because I’ve called this set Video Sites I listed sites like YouTube, MegaVideo, Veoh, etc…  Once you’ve finished listing these types of sites, Click Next.

configuring what leechblock blocks

6. On the next tab you’ll pick out When to Block.  This part can get a little tricky but essentially there are four options.

  • A. Enter a time of day to completely block out websites
  • B. Set a time limit for how long these websites can be used
  • C. Set a range of hours during the day that websites will be time limited
  • D. Block these websites for specified hours of the day AND time limit them thereafter.

For me Option C works best.  In the screenshot below I’ve set the options for my work computer so that during the work week these sites will be limited to 15 minutes of use for every 2 hours that goes by.  This will give me enough time to watch news coverage or an instructional video, but not allow me to waste time on lolcats and other nonsense.

configuring when leechblock blocks

7. In the last tab you pick out How to Block.  In the top box, Type in a website address that you want to be redirected to whenever you visit a site from your block list during restricted hours or when the time limit runs out.  For me this was a no-brainer, I’ve redirected all of my browsing to go straight to http://www.groovypost.com. :)

Below, there are 4 checkboxes.  By default you should Check Actively block pages on these sites once time period is entered or time limit is exceeded and also Check Count time spent on these sites only when browser tab is active.  The last two middle boxes you’ll have to decide for yourself what works best, but if you check both of them you won’t be able to adjust LeechBlock settings until you’re no longer in the blocked timeframe, so be careful.

configuring how leechblock blocks

8. Suppose you work a sporadic schedule and you don’t want to set a pre-defined range of time that sites will be limited.  In this case you can use LeechBlock’s Lockdown feature.  First set up your list of websites in the options menu, but leave the When To Block tab blank.  Next, from Firefox Click Tools > LeechBlock > Lockdown.

how to use lockdown mode in leechblock

9. In the Lockdown pop-up Select an amount of time you want each set of websites to be locked down.  Lockdown starts the second you Press OK so make sure you’ve finished anything you need to finish before Clicking it.  In my example I’m blocking 3 different sets of websites for 3 hours, starting now!

leechblock instantly locks down time wasting sites for a specified amount of time

Overall LeechBlock is a groovy time saving tool that offers more customization and features than any other time saving tool out there.  The only downside to LeechBlock is that it is only available for Firefox, so if you’re like me and you have multiple browsers installed you’ll have to still practice a decent amount of willpower.

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6 Responses to Get Control of Your Work Day With LeechBlock

  1. piks June 17, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    Nice Find!, Thinking of adding this tool to my firefox. Only problem is that my firefox already loads kinda slow because of the various plugins i have already installed but i will definitely try this out. Thanks!

  2. Pointser June 21, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    This thing has saved me countless times. I installed it back in 07′ and haven’t looked back yet. It’s not so much that I don’t have self control, it’s more just that Time goes by REALLY REALLY fast when you get on a site like YouTube or AddictiveGames.com. I’ll only plan on spending 5 minutes but that turns into 30 minutes way too easily.

  3. Rebecca January 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    This is great and easy to follow! I have been trying to figure out what I was doing wrong because I simply could not block websites! It only took 10 seconds and I got it!! Thanks so much!!

  4. Lax October 18, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    it’s “Site Blocked” Warning messages are too irritating…
    Is there a way to hide/block these “Site Blocked” windows/tabs.

    • Kirsty February 23, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Yes – on ‘how to block’ you can select ‘blank page’

  5. johnnie October 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    I accidentally click on the first
    link and now I can not access my email. How do you unblock the site?

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