- Internet & the Web
How to Quit, no not Smoking but, Mindless Surfing the Internet
Today, this very evening, just like the previous one, you are pretty determined to work, study, whatever. And do that hard and without leaving a chance to ANY distraction, your favorite web pages including. You take a seat, the book in your hands;you are trying to concentrate and concentrate and concentrate but fail. Of course, fail! How can you read without checking out your e-mail and Facebook and Reddit and a couple of other very, very important websites. Surely a fast scan of the entire bunch won't hurt. So the book is on the sofa and you are in front of your PC. A hundred to one you won't leave your station until the day breaks.A pretty common situation?Yeah, to me too.
About the Age of Distraction We Live In
They, scientists and analysts, say that we live (just think about it!!!) in the age of distraction. On the whole, distractions have always existed but we, the new generation, seem to have achieved a totally new level of that. The Internet is the villain of the story, of course. During millions of years of evolution we've got used to continuous scanning for any change in our environment. Our primitive ancestors used this ability to safeguard them, while we seem to constantly try to bate our natural (or not??) curiosity.Natural, of course. That's what we know as Panem et circenses!, sorry, Bread and circuses!So we have ''bread''. And what can now best of all satisfy our craving for ''circuses''? Right, the Internet! It is a helpful tool, of course, but what if it's turned into that unwanted distraction?
Ready to Tackle? Start with Time-Wasters Audit
If you, like me, think that surfing the Web has become not just mindless but a kind of unhealthy, start with making up the list of sites you cannot resist to visiting. Written down they already seem under some control of yours, believe me. The next step to take is find out how much time exactly is being wasted at each particular site. With this, a more thorough audit, Rescue Team (paid) and Time Tracker (free) can help. These online services will keep track of your web activity, watch how much time you devote to this or that website and what apps you use.Create an account and install Rescue Team program to get a weekly report and block distracting websites. Or download Time Tracker, a free browser extension for either Firefox or Chrome, and that's it! You are already gaining control over the problem.
Time-Wasters: Complete Blockage
Basically, there are two ways to combat time-wasters. Complete blockage is the most drastic measure.Whatever browser you may use, Explorer, Chrome or Firefox, all the sites blocked won't be available if you do some little hacking: tell your PC that those particular websites live on your hard drive.Since they don't, your browser won't connect to these websites, if you make some additions to your Mac, Windows host files, namely type in its name after 127.0.0.1 upon opening up Terminal in Mac and Notepad in Windows.Do something like 127.0.0.1 facebook.com and so on changing only a website name until the blockage list is complete. Save your host file, close it.
Time-Wasters: Partial Blockage
The other method, partial blockage, won't be overkill to you. That will be selective and flexibility adding, since you'll have more control over your time management. There is a number of plugins, site blockers and apps like Leechblockfor Firefox and Chrome Nanny, StayFocused, and Concentrate for Chrome, SelfControl and Focus for your Mac, FocusOn for your Android… Any of these or all together will help you apply that much requiredselective time-based blockage, if you've refusedto use number one method.And even partially it'll work. And you will work too. Just a bit of set-up for your part and here you are - responsible and productive, just like me.