One of Vista’s security features is a thing called User Account Control (UAC) and one of it’s more family-friendly capabilities is Parental Control. It allows the parent (or administrator) to control what certain accounts in the computer can do – limit surfing capabilities, set program access and control, even set time limits. And what’s best is there’s an activity monitor.
While it’s obvious use is for parents who’d like to keep their kids safe in a virtual safety deposit box, I’ve just figured why not use it for productivity’s sake. I don’t have kids and I’m the only once using my computers so why not put the darned thing to other uses – like make it my little productivity watchdog.
Why not? It’s got the same features that watchdog programs should have. And it’s built-in the OS itself. So get ready for iron-fisted self-imposed lock down.
- Access Start -> Control Panel -> Parental Controls.
- Set-up a new work-related user account.
- Set the hours you work using the time control feature. If you have a tendency to overwork, place a cap on your work hours. You can also limit yourself from accessing the web during certain times.
- Set the websites that you can visit using the web filter. This innately works with IE, so if you’re a Firefox user…
- Set the programs that you can access and use. This might include Firefox from the previous item. If you happen to have games installed in your computer, block them from this user account so that you can never fall into the temptation of multi-tasking. Just check those programs that you use specifically for work and the rest of the programs will be blocked. Nifty!
- Monitor your activity. Check out what you’ve been doing while using the account. A bit of review and introspection will definitely help in adjusting your work habits.
- Just make sure you log in using that account whenever you work.