There is no more relaxing feeling these days than sitting at my computer and turning on Freedom. Clicking that little butterfly shuts down the anxiety, the panic, the depression, and the general displeasure the web brings me when trying to work.

After last year when I was so freaked out every time I turned on a computer that I was going to get distracted and miss another deadline or read something that depressed me or stare at the screen so long I would become a zombie (no, really, I was so paranoid and freaked out by the end that this was a genuine fear of mine), this feeling has been a revelation.

I’ve used Freedom in the past, but it was the version that shut down the internet completely and in the years since I’ve grown too accustomed to using cloud storage and online resources like the Chicago Manual of Style and the OED for that to be workable. But this new version lets me shut down all of the sites that distract me, both on my laptop/desktop and my phone. It works so well now I can feel myself physically relaxing when it’s activated.

I’m looking at the list of sites I have blocked and it’s hilarious. Certainly social media and news sites, but also lottery and real estate sites. And Wikipedia. And hotel and travel sites. You can see the themes of my mind when I day dream.