Use Tasker to Block Apps at Certain Times
Why I Want This
I get up earlier than everyone else in my household, and take a little time to prepare for the day. Towards the end of last year, however, I was allowing myself to be distracted during my morning routine. Instead of useful preparation, I was allowing myself time to mess about on social media sites.
So, at the beginning of this year I decided that I need to focus on improving my productivity using my Smartphone, rather than allowing it to become a distraction. I’m not ready to give up the likes of Facebook completely, but I don’t want it available first thing in the morning.
It so happens that I’ve had Tasker installed on my phone for a while. If you don’t know it, Tasker is an app which performs tasks (sets of actions) based on events (such as time, location, event, gesture etc). It occurred to me that I might be able to use Tasker to prevent me from running certain applications at certain times of the day.
How To Block Facebook Between 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM
I use Tasker to block Facebook between 6 and 10 in the morning. My approach is to set up two profiles:
- The first sets the variable “MORNING_MODE” at 6am and clears it at 10am.
- The second prevents Facebook from opening when the “MORNING_MODE” variable is set.
The result is that, if I try to display Facebook between the specified times, then I am returned to the Home screen.
Part 1: Set Up a Time Profile
- Crate a new Time Profile.
- Set its From time to 6:00 and its To time to 10:00.
- Create a new task for the profile called “Morning On”.
- Add a new action to the task. Pick “Variables”>”Variable Set”.
- Give the variable the name “MORNING_MODE”, and set the value to “1” (a value is required, but won’t actually be used, so you can actually set it to anything you like).
- Go back to the profile you’ve just created and add a “Disable” task.
- Create a new task for the profile called “Morning Off”.
- Add a new action to the task. Pick “Variables”>”Variable Clear”.
- Specify the variable name “MORNING_MODE”.
- Optionally, give the profile a name, such as “Morning”.
Part 2: Set Up an Application Profile for Facebook
- Create a new Application Profile.
- Select the Facebook app.
- Add a new task, named “Block Facebook”.
- Add an action to the task. Pick “App”>”Go Home” .
- Add an “If” condition to the task.
- Set its condition to “MORNING_MODE” Is Set.
Tasker isn’t the easiest of applications to get to grips with. Nevertheless, with a little patience I’ve been able to make it do some fairly nifty things.