How To Stay On Task

Get ready!

By: Maria Kuznetsov, DIY/Guides Staff Writer

Whether it’s a paper or just time management in general, staying on task can be difficult. Here, I recommend a few downloads. Click on the name in order to be sent to the official page.



10 seconds left before shut off

10 seconds left




Limits the amount of time spent on certain websites. One can change the length of time for ‘blocked’ sites and can even set a nuclear mode (no blocked site time).

Platform: Google Chrome extension

Bonuses: easily installed and very user friendly.

Drawbacks: can be easily skirted by disabling extensions, using incognito mode, or using another browser.

Recommend for: those who mindlessly tab over to Facebook or Reddit while researching or typing.



Launch pop-up

launch pop-up

A program that blocks access to websites of your choosing.

Platform: desktop application

Bonuses: there’s no way you are getting on Facebook. Any tampering blocks you for a week.

Drawbacks: Once a session starts, it cannot be undone without uninstalling the application(directions found on website) and the free version does not block applications. Only for Windows.

Recommend for: when that paper is due tomorrow and you just can’t get off LoL.



in use

in use

A writing program that can be customized with backgrounds and sounds.

Platform: desktop application

Bonuses: very customizable and has a nice, isolating setup that is conducive to writing.

Drawbacks: must minimize to access other applications. Difficult to customize fonts.

Recommend for: NaNoWriMo, creative writing, or anything that doesn’t require frequent tab/window switching.


Written? Kitten!


writing like this not recommended

For every hundred words typed, you get a kitten! Type in the browser window and once you hit the limit you set for yourself, a picture of a kitten appears on the right side of the screen.

Platform: webpage

Bonuses: kittens. Also has a customizable word limit.

Drawbacks: doesn’t save what you type.

Recommend for: the cat enthusiast who has a word limit.




interface and timer

Timer for the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes working, 5 minute break)

Platform: desktop application

Bonuses: session length can be changed

Drawbacks: once a session starts, there is no way to pause it – you have to complete it or you don’t get a break. Doesn’t block any sites, but is a nice timer.

Recommend for: those who work best in intervals. Also good for working with a tight schedule.

About the Author

Maria Kuznetsov
Maria looks forward to being an Acronym section editor this year! Maria is the vice president of Spectrum, as well as the Studio 1500 senior representative, a peer tutor, and an SCS member. Her hobbies include ballet, nail art, and sewing. She can be found, dressed unconventionally and taking photos, in 01B wing. Email:

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