Steve Lambert

wrote a book!!!


Is email a distraction? SelfControl is an OS X application which blocks access to incoming and/or outgoing mail servers and websites for a predetermined period of time.

For example, you could block access to your email, facebook, and twitter for 90 minutes, but still have access to the rest of the web. Once started, it can not be undone by the application, by deleting the application, or by restarting the computer — you must wait for the timer to run out.

Created while at Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology. Thanks to Charlie Stigler for developing the application.

Self Control is Free Software

SelfControl is Free Software under the GPL. Feel free to make improvements, linux ports, etc. The sourcecode and wiki are on Github, and there is a ticket system too.

Free Software means you are free to use, modify, and redistribute the application and the source code.

Free Software and volunteers have made a Linux version and a Windows version possible.

Why did you make this?

Because I needed it, same as you. I was partly inspired by Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero talk (worth watching). Charlie Stigler was kind enough to code it based on my sketches for the handsome fee of $125 (I think he charges more now). And now we’re giving it away (and the code too) because we want it to be useful. You can read a little article about Charlie and SelfControl here.

I am an artist, and as anyone who creates things knows; the time you can block out to get focused work done is invaluable. Hopefully this will help you focus on whatever you need to do, from creating that project, writing your novel, studying for your exams, or whatever you want to do. Good luck.

P.S. Before you eliminate procrastination from your life, maybe have a look around my site first?

Help out

Has SelfControl been helpful to you? Would you like to see a certain feature implemented? If you met us in person, would you buy us a drink? If you can’t help code, we wont turn down your money.

Download SelfControl

Download SelfControl at

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