Employee productivity took a major hit the day Facebook was invented. If social networking, or cat videos... or maybe just the internet in general is cutting into your work, there are several tools you can use to stay focused. Here are two to get you started.
This software runs in the background and keeps track of how you spend your time. You can set goals like spending less time on email, or even set an alarm if you spend more than a certain amount on Twitter, for example. And if you need more drastic measures, you can block websites if you pay for the premium version, versus the lite version, which is free.
Since RescueTime collects all this info, you get reports on where and how you spent your time, plus a productivity score. You can even go in and classify websites on a scale of "very distracting" to "very productive." So, if you're a social media manager, for example, RescueTime won't dock you points for messing around on Twitter when it's actually your job.
It runs on Windows and Mac.
Another option is Cold Turkey. The first thing you should know is that it only runs on Windows. If you are a Windows person, you can use Cold Turkey to block distracting websites or apps for lengths of time.
They tout the fact that it's not easily disabled in case you feel like cheating and getting on Facebook anyway. Another element to Cold Turkey is that its donation-based. You can download it for free or pick what you pay, and then decide how much of that money goes to the Against Malaria Foundation.
One word of warning: when we tried to install Cold Turkey on Windows 8, the install was a lot more problematic. Even with Cold Turkey enabled, we got onto our blocked sites just fine. When we tried it on an older Windows 7 computer, it worked perfectly.
Erin Carson has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.