I get terribly distracted from what I'm supposed to be doing- I say that I have the attention span of a gnat! So having the internet available nearly all the time is my downfall. Facebook, twitter, online tv channels... they're either on all the time, or I go back to them every 5 minutes while I'm supposed to be working.
I said this on twitter once and someone referred me to a piece of software called Freedom, the different variations of which are usable for both Mac and PC. It blocks all internet access for a certain period of time that you choose. There's a free trial that you can download, where you can try it out 3 times to see if you like it. After the free trial, the software costs $10 for unlimited use.
Then I found another piece of software called Cold Turkey. I think it was designed as social network-blocking software, but you can choose which websites to block or not to block, and you can add more websites than they suggest- I added BBC iplayer, ITV player etc, philofaxy of course!!! (I get so easily distracted on there!!), flikr etc, as well as the ubiquitous twitter, facebook, ebay etc. I love how it is so customisable- instead of blocking the internet completely like Freedom does, it blocks only what you tell it to, so you will still have access to your email, search engines, online dictionaries etc! Perfect. You choose the time it blocks your internet access for, so you could have it for as little or as long as you like. And the best thing? It's FREEEEEEEE!!! There's a pay-for option, which is only $2, but I don't see much difference between the pay and non-pay options.
I've downloaded Cold Turkey and I'm going to use it to stop me getting distracted over the next few months finishing my MA, and I will continue to use it through my PhD! :D