Grindstone is a Greasemonkey script to help avoid distracting websites when trying to be productive. Maybe others can avoid thrashing, but the web is an endless series of interesting pieces of information. A little, quick research on the beautiful Blue Mosque in Turkey ends up leading to reading about: Istanabul (maybe we’ll visit), the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean War (which one was that?), the Crimean Peninsula, the Yalta Conference (chilling with Stalin), F.D.R. and to Harry S. Truman’s middle initial (there is a period). Suddenly a 30 second break has become a 15 minute tangent. And then there are sites like Facebook or Google Reader that addict people to keep checking them constantly.

Grindstone can help provide some self control when the web tempts you to stop getting things done. It only blocks the sites you specify at the times you configure. And you can always tell Grindstone to let you past for a visit. I wrote it for myself and have found it useful so I thought I’d share it.

To install it into FireFox or watch the 60 second screencast, head over to the main Grindstone page.

Grindstone screenshotGrindstone providing a reminder to stay focused