Stop Reading This Post and Get To Work

I became interested several months ago in the idea of what struck me as "software jiu-jitsu": using programs that prevented you from using other programs or accessing the Internet. I pitched this to my regular editor at The Economist, and, lo, it appeared in the 10 June 2010 issue as "Stay on Target" in the Technology Quarterly section. (I love the illustration, as I love all the TQ illustrations, I believe always by the same person, Belle Mellor.)My editor tells me that it was a popularly read article this last week, which isn't too surprising. What's the best way to pass time that you should spend doing something productive? Reading about ways to make yourself more productive. I kid. I didn't mention it in the article, but it was written using Isolator. I couldn't seem to focus on what I needed to write about (how self-referential), so I fired up a few programs to test, and decided Isolator would keep me on track. I believe it took 2 to 3 hours to write a solid draft, and it seemed too easy--perhaps the joy of focus.