Now, The Economist steps in to give a boost to the idea that there just may be a software-based solution to this problem:
"Clear your screen and clear your mind." That is the philosophy behind a new wave of dedicated software utilities, and special modes in word-processing packages and other applications, that do away with distractions to enable you to get on with your work. The problem with working on a computer, after all, is that computers provide so many appealing alternatives to doing anything useful: you can procrastinate for hours, checking e-mail, browsing social-networking sites or keeping up with Twitter. ...
Hardware and software are usually sold on the basis that they can do more, do things faster or have whizzy new features. There is clearly a place for products that are simple to use and hide complexity -- a hallmark of Apple's products. It is perhaps more surprising that there also seems to be demand for products that disable features. But for people trying to get things done, a hobbled computer may in fact be more useful than a fully functional one, for an hour or two at least. Temporarily worse can, in some ways, be better.
All well and good -- but whether an app like Freedom can make you a better writer depends to a large extent on the kind of writing you're doing.