A solution to wasting time online: set up one computer for web access only, away from your work computerMay 19th, 2008 by jose
Paul Graham does it again. It’s great when you have a mind used to solve problems with simple solutions applied to time management. The more everyday problems hackers manage to solve (this time without use of fancy technology), the better for all of us.
The basic idea is simple: just make your body aware that you are wasting time. It’s even more radical than my interruptron idea of having a time counter growing in size as a function of wasting time.
I can find at least two problems with this idea. Or maybe I’m just trying to rationalize that I don’t want them to pry ‘my precious’ internet from my tired fingers
- Software updates. I find that I quite often have to do a ‘sudo aptitude install’ or some such. At least a couple of times a day. Same for programming languages’ packages. It’d be a pain to switch on the internet for that, plus it’d be tempting to leave it on.
- Mail. I often have a quick idea and fire off an email to someone who may need to know or do something about it. My mail reader is integrated with my browser and sending a new mail is just one shortcut away. Again, a bit of a pain to move to a different computer to send a mail.
Still, the advantages are huge. Having no interruptions whatever online? Sounds great. In fact, when I’m really feeling like I need to get something done, I retire to a library with no wireless (and hopefully a comics section to fill scheduled rest time).
I’m interested in this method (2nd computer for internet only) enough to give it a serious try, say a full month.
It’d be great if more people wanted to join a trial, so we can do some n>1 testing on whether this works overall or not. It’d be also great to have some accountability (i.e., people knowing that you are doing this trial, so you feel ashamed if you are not following the rules). The problem is that productivity measures will have to be subjective: i.e., at the end of the month, do you feel you have gotten a lot done? More than any other month while you were online at all times?
What do you think?
PS: there’s a full thread commenting the article here.