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Decreasing Computer/Internet usage

DorkmanDorkman Registered User regular
edited December 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I have come to a conlusion. I spend a ridiculous amount of time on the internet doing nothing, and it feels poisonous. I have so many things I could be doing like studying for my Reffing job. I am trying to get my grade 11 Chem course out of the way to possibly persue a career as a Mechanical Engineering technologist, I am trying to get in shape, and I am always trying to play catch up with that damnedable warhammer hobby.

Is there a good program that tracks internet time to see how I am wasting it. I don't want to go so far as to find a program that locks me off the internet because I need this help at work too. I certainly don't want to lock down IE when it is pretty important to my job, but I would at least like a program that shows when and what I am wastin my time with at work.

Any help would be awesome. Thanks folks!

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    Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The easiest thing for you to do would be to simply set a limit on your internet usage. I'm forced to use prepaid internet while I'm in Australia, and I can tell you from personal experience that you spend a lot less time screwing around randomly surfing when you only have X megabytes in a given day to use. It also forces you to choose what is really important to you, and what you want to spend your time/bandwidth doing.

    If that's not really feasible for you, I would recommend just getting an egg timer or some sort of simple alarm. If you're doing work, do work. But if you're just going to "surf the web" or something, set the timer to 15-30 minutes, and force yourself to adhere to the limit. When the bell goes off, you're done with the internet for the day.

    Counting your time is psychologically underwhelming, and easy to dismiss and/or rationalize. If you don't have the willpower or awareness to stop screwing around on your own, then imposing limits is your best bet. If you can't adhere to personal limits (e.g., the egg timer), set structural limits (e.g., cap your internet use, slow down your internet connection, get rid of personal internet altogether). If those don't work, then you may have larger issues than simply being unable to stop yourself from going on the internet.

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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Don't use the computer to prevent yourself from using the computer. Grade 11, so you live at home? Ask your parents to take the power cord at hour X and not return it until tomorrow at hour X.

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    DorkmanDorkman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sorry I guess I should have specified. I am very much an adult on my own (26), and am just taking the course as I never took it back then and its required for a potential career change.

    I do feel distracted quite often by the interwebs and have considering going to see a doc about potential adult ADHD. It just seems for whatever reason I can't seem to work an hour without popping on to my favorite forums. Ironic..no?

    It would be difficult to set an egg timer at work due to a shared office setting, hence why I was going for a program for the same thing...but it is a rather logical point that it would only be rationalized.

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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    So you're looking to limit your casual internet time at work and home?

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    DorkmanDorkman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yes, I seem to have issues with both.

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    GothicLargoGothicLargo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Counting your time is psychologically underwhelming, and easy to dismiss and/or rationalize. If you don't have the willpower or awareness to stop screwing around on your own, then imposing limits is your best bet. If you can't adhere to personal limits (e.g., the egg timer), set structural limits (e.g., cap your internet use, slow down your internet connection, get rid of personal internet altogether). If those don't work, then you may have larger issues than simply being unable to stop yourself from going on the internet.

    Agree, more or less.

    OP: there's really no easy solution here, this is really just a self-discipline issue. Limits, in my own experience, never work at compelling anyone to do anything (which is why dieting frequently doesn't work). You say there are things you want to do... well, get off your duff and do them.

    ...

    Back in college I was contemplating whether AFROTC would be a good choice for me. Despite the fact that it's the AF, they do still have physical endurance tests and, well, I'm not really in for that. Talked briefly with the program's staff and their senior officer said "None of my people are going to be out there riding you to keep up with the program... you either want to do it or you don't."

    Kinda an unspectacular ending but in the end I decided that I'd rather be a civilian. Because I simply don't have the interest to go the distance.

    If you're right and truly committed to doing something, you'll do it, and if you aren't, no external crutch is going to change that. It does not take a gadget, gimmick, or gizmo to tell you "you know, I should go do something else." It really doesn't. Even with ADD it still doesn't.

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    Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Do you need to use the internet for work purposes at all? If not, then you could just make it really hard on yourself to start up a web browser of any kind. If you're at work, and you're honestly going an hour straight with just 5-minute breaks, then that's not really that bad. But if you're constantly popping in and out, then you're shooting yourself in the foot. The reality is that there's no such thing as "multi-tasking". There's "putting one thing on hold while you try to do another thing, while still trying to keep all of the former stuff in your head". It takes about 15 minutes for the mind to really start focusing on a single task, so every time you interrupt that process, you basically go back to square one, while increasing the likelihood that you'll make a mistake or just do a poor job at the task in general.

    At home, I think the egg timer thing would probably work, no?

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    DorkmanDorkman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Well that is a fine pickle. It may be pretty obvious but my willpower is pretty darn miserable. I have been let go from a job in the past from my excessive internet use. This job is better in that it keeps me busier, but I know I could be doing better. I guess the thing about busy jobs is that there is always something to do.

    Wouldn't the egg timer require a certain degree of control as well. As much as I could just ignore internet usage charts, I could easily just ignore a buzz egg timer, no?

    I am screwed.

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    edited December 2009
    I have what I think is a more minor case of a similar affliction. I am using ManicTime to track my hours at work and it breaks down what program I'm using and what sites I'm visiting.

    I don't know if it'll help you with the overarching self control issue but it'll do a good job of showing you exactly where your time on the computer is actually being spent.

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