Yesterday I downloaded a piece of $10 software that will change my life. It's called Freedom:
Freedom is a simple productivity application that locks you away from the internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom frees you from distractions, allowing you time to write, analyze, code, or create. At the end of your offline period, Freedom allows you back on the internet. You can download Freedom immediately for 10 dollars through either PayPal or Google Checkout.
I used it for 65 minutes yesterday morning, and two hours in the afternoon while I worked on Hild (you can set it for any number of minutes you like). Several times--I didn't even realise I was doing it--I tried to get online to 'look something up'. Each time, Freedom denied me access. I couldn't disable Freedom except by rebooting my entire system. I went back to work. In three hours, I wrote fifteen hundred words.
I think this might be the best ten dollars I've ever spent. Each time I would just 'bob online to check something' I'd end up looking at email, responding to blog comments, gobbling down RSS feeds, and generally wasting time. Not anymore. With Freedom playing governess, I think I might have a first draft of Hild done by the end of September--before my birthday. A lovely present to myself.
But don't take my word for Freedom's efficacy. Read what the Economist has to say Give it a go. It will rock your world.