November 08, 2022

I’ve decided as part of my journey into becoming more focused that I’m going to block sites that distract me the most. I’m using a little Firefox add-on called leechblock.

You give it a list of sites and it blocks them. Simple.
It works so long as you don’t disable the blocker…

I’ve decided on the following for now -


YouTube is where I waste most of my time. Between watching things that do interest me as well as getting sucked into more clickbait content, a lot of my time gets spent here. I’ve been hesitant to fully block YouTube in the past as I feel like I get a lot of value from some of the things I watch. Health stuff like Peter Attia, Rhonda Patrick, as well as more fitness related content like The Bioneer and some tennis content.

Then there’s a lot of semi-educational or interesting content that I consume like Joe Rogan clips or other podcast snippets. I enjoy this content but I do think that in aggregate, it’s probably not that helpful and is simply entertainment disguised as something more thought-provoking.

I’ve used other add-ons in the past to block recommended videos or block the YouTube homepage, but I usually just find ways around these obstacles and end up watching mindlessly like I did before.

Part of the problem is that both YouTube and the video creators are incentivised to make you watch for longer. Videos that could be 2mins long, end up closer to 10mins with a long intro, a long-winded explanation and flashy graphics or B-roll to keep your eyes interested. And it works, we keep watching even if most of the video is junk because generally our brains are lazy and like being entertained.

I’ve reached a point where I’ve already squeezed most of the value out of YouTube that I’m going to get. My time is more valuable than any information I could possibly get from continuing to watch.

The exception to this would be watching an instructional video when I need to solve a specific problem. But there’s no way to filter this and I don’t really have a particular problem YouTube could solve.
I also can’t risk watching one piece of good helpful content and then getting sucked into wasting 2 hours because I saw a funny clip in the sidebar.
So for now it’s all blocked.


For the most part, I dislike reddit. I dislike it because the barrier to entry is very low - anyone can post, anyone can comment.

In theory this should be a positive because it exposes you to a variety of different perspectives. This is true to an extent, and you’ll probably see a lot of cool stuff on reddit if you’ve never been on it. However, the diminishing returns bite hard.

You can basically get 90% of the value from any subreddit by reading the top 10 posts of all-time. The rest is basically just the same type of content of lower quality, rehashed and recycled for fresh karma. Each subreddit is an echo-chamber, and lingering inside too long will lead you to seeing the world in the same way.

My subreddit of choice has generally been r/worldnews which you would think would be somewhat an exception to the above as the content is what is happening in the world (not what is happening in the mind of redditors).
But I’ve come to realise that r/worldnews is basically just entertainment like the regular news on the TV and has almost zero relevance to my life.

Despite my dislike for reddit, I constantly find myself opening it up, usually when I’ve got nothing else to do. So I’ve decided it must be blocked.

This is a more recent addiction of mine. I think I first learnt of the site from my brother who was playing chess in between studying. I then saw a couple of videos of Magnus Carlsen memes and decided to have a go playing chess myself.

Over the last couple of weeks it’s gone from zero to consuming, as I played for a couple of hours each day. I think the appeal of chess for me is chasing that testosterone-producing feeling when you win, the glory of the checkmate.

But at the end of the day, playing chess just makes you better at playing chess and if I’m going back to playing games I may as well dive back into video games. There’s no difference in my life between compulsively playing chess and compulsively playing video games like I did in high school.

As I have no dreams to become a grand master, it’s on the list.


A bit of a weird one, but just like reddit I seem to open it up when I’ve got nothing else to do. I never post or interact and generally only go on there when I’ve got nothing else to scroll and usually think, “Damn look at all these people posting nonsense about work. Don’t they have something better to do?“.
I think this while not accepting the fact that I’m even sadder because I’m aimlessly scrolling their content.
Not helpful, not even fun - On the block list.

Twitter + Facebook

(Added afterwards)
I don’t spend a huge amount of time on Twitter or Facebook but when everything else is blocked I am more inclined to go browse.

I fully intend to keep everything here blocked indefinitely and will edit this post if I add anything else. If I relent and remove the blocker then I’ll also come back and say so here, but I think writing my intentions publicly will help prevent that from happening.

Paris metro

Photo is from the metro in Paris when I visited with my brother back in 2019.