We all do it. You know what I mean. You get on your computer to get something specific done and it happens – you get distracted. Maybe it’s Facebook orTwitter, maybe you see that email notification come in and you’ve got to go and read it (even though you have no intention of responding just then). Perhaps you’re a gamer and you think you need a break to play…well I could go on. Do any of us really know how much time we spend on our favorite distractions? Now we can. With Seriousd 1.4 from HackerAtWork. I found this Freeware while scrolling through The Windows Club Facebook page and decided to install it after reading some reviews and tips.
You can download it for free here. You will need to reboot your computer so the program can finish installing the ‘VIProcess’ part. Some computer’s antivirus software will have a problem allowing this to be installed. I had problems with one of my Dell Windows 8 computers, but I tried it on another Dell computer and it installed fine on one identity and I had a few problems on another with the VIProcess not wanting to install. I’m still not sure if it did or not. The VIProcess is the part that doesn’t let someone shut down the program (and thus bypass any rules you set up). But if you’re using this as an internet nanny for yourself, hopefully, it won’t matter.
After you install it, you’ll see this 80’s looking icon on your desktop . Clicking on it did nothing for me, I finally started it by right-clicking on it and selecting ‘Open’. Then a little clock started spinning and it opened up to this interface. I’ve got arrows and descriptions going to the various buttons, but you will see these if you hover over them.
As others have pointed out, there is no written documentation, only a 2” video that has annoying music (turn down your speakers) and text that shows some of the features. So if you aren’t intuitive with software, this may be a bit difficult for some. But if you read this article along with this Windows Club article, you should be pretty much set.
Let’s set something up to get us started and let’s choose Facebook to ratchet our use down to 20” per 12 hour period.
To open up the Activity history screen, simply right-click on the icon and your Activity will open up. As you can see, not only does this program allow you to set time limits, it also shows you where you’ve been on-line as well as where and for how long you’ve been using programs on your computer. I use Windows Live Writer for my blog posts. Below that, you can see where I’ve been and for how long on Firefox. This is a useful tool if you don’t know where you time goes. From what I can tell, it only records the time you are actually using a program or on a site. This is essential because I leave many pages and applications up during the day. Now it doesn’t add it all up, but I think the Pro version will give you a pdf report.
Set Up Facebook Time Limits
To start up the ‘Watchdog Rules’ screen, simply right-click on one of your Firefox or IE entries and you’ll see the screen below, click on it and it’ll take you to the ‘Rules’ page.
When I first opened up this page, all of the entries below were already there, including Facebook on Firefox. When I clicked on that line, over to the right a screen opened where I could enter in my options. I said when I used Facebook on Firefox, limit me to 20” per 12-hour period. The Reset Watch means to allow me 20” every 12 hours. I didn’t use the Lock Config option. I read a little about this, but I’m not using this feature since I’m doing this for me. If what you want to limit isn’t there, just click on the ‘Add/Edit’ icon and add it.
From watching the video, after my 20” are up, a screen will come up that says “Busted” or something like that and then I’m done until 12 hours have passed. So that’s it – not too difficult to set up. Play around with the settings and try it out.
No History in Free Version
With the free version you can’t go back and see where you spent your time yesterday or any day except the current day. If you purchase the Pro version for $19.99, then you can run reports on yourself (or others). So keep that in mind while using the free version.
Will you use this type of a program, or are you disciplined enough to stay off sites that distract you?