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Block out Distractions to Focus on Reading — 28 Comments

  1. For some reason it never struck me to look for sites like CNN or Yahoo in Japanese, I just bookmarked a lot of the sites on that list and will now be using them to kill time and catch up on some news instead of looking up random news stories in English.

    The idea of a distraction blocker is pretty cool to me, I just don’t think I would be able to go through with using it since I haven’t found enough replacement sites in Japanese to get rid of the sites I use to fight boredom in English.

    • There are a lot of Japanese versions out there, and they are continuing to increase over recent years. This really is a major tactic everyone should start to use.

    • That’s awesome! What I like about these alternative sites is that usually they also feature the same stories you’d be reading in English, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.

      Fighting boredom in Japanese is relatively new to me too and something I’d like to do more often myself.

      • At work today in the lab and after I quickly exhausted my appropriate for work sites I used for long wait times, I could have used a few in Japanese sites.

  2. Good post.

    I’ve been using this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/mind-the-time/

    It keeps track of how long you spend time browsing the internet, and where. You’ll make it a goal not to spend more than 30 minutes (or whatever) browsing the internet each day. You’ll be really motivated this way and you won’t need to block any website.

    If you want you could even whitelist japanese websites (if really needed), and it won’t count time spent.

    • That sounds like a great way to reflect on your usage. Is there any way to split it up to see how much time you are spending on English vs. Japanese sites?

    • I just downloaded that addon a little while ago and it seems really helpful for me. I like keeping track of time spent on certain things, so I whitelisted all of the sites I use to study Japanese so I can see how much time I’m wasting on random sites, and it’s already helpful because I see the timer going up and it makes me want to get off the sites quickly and get back to doing more productive things.

    • This add on is great too! It would be great if they added a feature to also count the amount of time spent on your whitelisted sites, so you can see how much time you’re spending in Japanese.

      There’s a similar extension for Chrome called Habit RPG that I tried out once. It counts the time you spend on both blacklisted and whitelisted sites, and is supposed to give or take away EXP accordingly. But I couldn’t figure out how to make it work.

  3. I edit the Hosts file; it effectively killed my Reddit finger. Also, if you have a rooted iOS device, you can block websites on that, too.

    For time tracking, I use Toggl, an all-purpose time tracker. I find it better than RescueTime because 1. it has tags and 2. you can add offline time for free. You have to manually start/stop time entries, but you can allow it to automatically record your open programs. That way, you don’t ‘forget’ what you did yesterday.

    • Cold Turkey is good for hour blocks-hosts blocking! You can setup programs as well. But I heard they turned from charity-payments to paid now. So you may want to get an old version.

      • I’ve seen that recommended too (^_^). Only reason why I didn’t suggest it was because it’s paid, but it does seem like a great option for blocking programs if people want to spend the money. There’s a free version that only blocks websites, but it does less than the other free options I mentioned. Thanks for mentioning it!

  4. Well, this article inspired me to change over from reading kotaku.com to kotaku.jp now, and the same for Wikipedia. I’ll see if that sticks before applying more drastic methods. :)

    • Yay! I’m glad. I’ve been using a lot more Wikipedia in Japanese myself! Only thing I miss are all the pictures you’d see in the English version. I really recommend dic.nicovideo.jp and dic.pixiv.net for looking up pop culture things. They tend to be really detailed (often times more detailed than Wikipedia!) and have great pictures and videos that the Japanese Wikipedia seems to be missing most often.

  5. Now that I have a smart phone, I found new app (Android) that wasn’t compatible with my tablet: Focus out Distractions. Can be set to a schedule and has challenges. I like it.

  6. New suggestion:
    twitter.com/search?q=lang%3Aja*

    This allows you to allow yourself to use twitter, but only search for twitter posts with Japanese in them. This could include tweets addressed to you in Japanese by typing in your username after lang:ja.

    Just search lang:ja [insert word here] to filter Twitter in Japanese!

    • I’d say 80% of my twitter is in Japanese, but I have some Japanese language learning friends who tweet in English, and I also tweet in English mostly. In addition to this, I have some friends I made through translating that don’t know Japanese (such as letterers and editors). All people I want to keep following, but wish I could filter out when I want to immerse myself!

      Unfortunately though, I found out the twitter search function filters out some people. My account is one of them. If you try to search my account on twitter’s search function, my tweets won’t show up. It’s unfair. I sent a ticket to Twitter, but even if my account is fixed, it still means people will be left out of the search results. So this isn’t perfect.

      But lang:ja can be very helpful when searching for a keyword and wanting to filter it just by Japanese results. Like, when I look up things about Aynu, sometimes results in other languages come back because I think Aynu means something in another language,

      • How annoying about the filters. I have kept my Twitter 100% Japanese but haven’t done anything with it for quite a while. I am sure everyone has their Twitter interface in Japanese (I think it might happen automatically if your browser is in Japanese though I can’t now remember) but did you know you can change where the “trending hashtags” (or whatever they call it) come from? Mine come from Nagoya.

    • I don’t personally know many people who tweet but I follow production and promotional accounts for anime I’m watching, seiyuu, mangaka, directors, and lots of idols. I find it makes for a light, fun, continuous stream of Japanese in bite-sized pieces.

  7. レイチェルさん、ありがとうございました。
    I just realized that I never thanked you for this article. I’ve been using WasteNoTime (Safari) like a champ ever since. It was also a great push for me to finally switch to Japanese equivalents (like Cookpad http://cookpad.com ).

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