Tips to avoid wasting time on internet

I have a terrible tendency to come home after work and climb into bed with the laptop. I will spend hours on the internet, not get chores done, and end up going to sleep way later than intended. Also, on the weekend I have a tendency to get on the internet the second my eyes open and while away the weekends, sometimes not even getting out of bed until hours after I have woken. Finally, some weekday mornings I end up late for work because I do too much non-essential internet browsing while getting ready.

Any ideas on how to stop this habit? I have already tried tons of software that blocks time-wasting sites. The problem is that after a few days, I just uninstall the software or use other workarounds. I think what might actually be ideal is leaving the laptop in my car (I don’t have a desktop) when I get home from work. That way getting onto the internet requires quite a bit more work than just a few keystrokes to disable software, and the evening is spent more productively. Theft aside, is that feasible temperature-wise, living in Georgia?

Another thought I had was putting the laptop in my closet on a high shelf as soon as I get home.

Any other ideas?

Are you depressed? Perhaps you are focusing on a symptom, rather than the whole disease, so to speak.

It sounds like your biggest problem is having the laptop in a place where it’s easy to let large amounts of time go by without noticing. Can you keep your laptop somewhere you have to stand to use it? That would let you check your email or browse a few sites without falling in the trap of aimless surfing. Don’t let yourself take it with you to bed: have a book or crossword puzzle or something like that to do while you fall asleep. This way the discipline is how and when you surf the web, not in trying to snap yourself out of it once you’re comfortable.

Good thought. I think I am a little dysthymic, though not severely depressed. I am actually quite functional otherwise, somehow.

Oooh, I really like this idea. I wish I could, like, chain it to my desk. Hmm . . . maybe that is possible . . . although I would also need the mobility to take it places occasionally. I very much think you’re on to something here, though.

They make security cables that you can use to lock a laptop down. If you really need to control yourself, freeze the key in a block of ice. You can melt it down in advance of work trips and stuff, but otherwise you can’t impulsively take the laptop with you to bed.

The standing thing may not work. I have a laptop on the counter where I work I stand all day at it.

Lots of examples of timers here:

You could set one when you open the computer, decide in advance how much time you want to devote, then log off when the alarm goes off. Just don’t hit the snooze!

And there’s the rub. I suspect that you won’t find any answer that you won’t eventually defeat. And if you leave the laptop in the car, you’ll spend aimless hours flipping the TV channels or reading books you don’t even like.

Why? Because you are looking for escape. This is a defense mechanism, and it’s quite a hardy one. You have to figure out what you are escaping. What is it that you really don’t want to see/think about?

The thing about any escapist activity is that we go into it thinking it will raise our mood and then we’ll “feel like” doing something else. Normally , it doesn’t raise it at all. On the few occasions when it does, we get a pleasure feedback loop going, which only makes us want to continue the escapist activity.

Mood follows action. If you wait until you “feel like” doing the dishes or going out amongst people, you will never, ever, do it. You have to do it, in order to enjoy doing it (or gain a sense of accomplishment from it), which will make you feel like doing it more.

Don’t come to the Dope.

(That would save 90% of my internet wasting time right there.)

Are you treating that somehow? It sounds like this is really starting to impact your life, so making sure your therapist or doctor knows about it would probably be a better first step than trying to find a gimmicky way around using your computer. It’s like a smoker thinking that they can stop smoking if they only smoke one cigarette and throw out the rest of the pack: odds are that either they’ll buy more packs, or they will stop throwing the packs away after the first cigarette.

I think you’re asking the wrong crowd. :slight_smile:

Well, I certainly wouldn’t consider the Dope a waste of time…There’s an enormous amount of entertaining reading and useful information here. I would, however, advise against getting drawn into arguments with some of our more egregious right-wing nuts (they know who they are). As Mr. Lincoln is said to have said, “Never wrestle with a pig…you’ll get sh*t all over you and the pig will enjoy it”. A waste of time as ever was.

Speaking as a procrastinator…

Make a list (mentally) of the things you need to do each day when you get home from work and tell yourself you won’t touch the computer until you get them done. The trick is not to make the list so exhaustive that you just say ‘fuck-it’ and don’t do any of it. So don’t say “Okay, today I’m going to mow the lawn, do my laundry, vacuum and clean the bathroom” but instead say “Today when I get home from work I’m going pick up and vacuum while my dinner is cooking and I won’t touch the laptop until after dinner” or “Today I’m going to do my laundry and I’ll clean the bathroom while the washing machine is running I won’t touch the laptop until the clothes are in the dryer”

Baby steps and all that.

Same thing for the weekend, but when you go to bed, get the laptop out of the bedroom that way you can’t start your morning with it. “In the morning when I wake up, I’m not touching the laptop until I’ve showered and gotten back from the grocery store.”

Hey, you can curl up with it and waste all the time you want with it after you’ve gotten a couple of things done, but you’ve got to start working on your self-control a bit.

The other thing I’ll do is when it starts getting late it to set a time limit for myself. For example, I’ll tell myself, I’m closing my laptop at 11 or 12 or 1 or whatever. Even if I’m not going to sleep just then (usually I’ll read for a little while) but once it’s getting late and I realize that I’ll I’ve done for the last half hour is check a bunch of pages for updates that aren’t coming because everyone else is in bed…it’s time to sign off. Is it really worth staying up for another 30 minutes just to see of someone from high school that you haven’t seen in 10 years updates their facebook status?

Leave your laptop at work or at a friend’s house for a night and see how it feels.

I like how Dr Phil says will power is a myth. Structure your life where you don’t have to use it. Replace bad habits with better ones that fulfill the same need.

I’m one of those people who thinks electronics in the bedroom are a bad idea, radio/alarm clock, Kindle instead of paper book, sure, but that’s it. No TV or laptop in the bedroom.

If you have a desk somewhere else in the house where you could put a charging dock, rather than your portable charging plug - maybe leave the portable charger at work, which will make you at least limit your time away from the docking station desk at home.

Be sure to check this thread every 10 minutes to make sure you don’t miss any anti time-wasting tips!

Are you using a wireless router to connect to the Internet while in bed? Do you use the wireless router for anything else? (Wii, Tivo, etc) If not, get rid of the wireless router. Good way to tether yourself to wherever the modem is.

Good tips. That sort of thing has definitely worked for me, a fellow procrastinator, when I’ve put my mind to it.

Of course, right now, I’m sitting here with my laptop instead of doing the things I need to do before I go to work this afternoon. Good tips, all the same.

Seems to me that you’re lonely, Gestalt.

Your computer is not a friend or lover. You should not go to bed with it. Nor should you go straight to bed after work, unless it is to have mind-blowing sex.

You should not have sex with your computer.

The only reason to not get out of bed hours after you have woken is if you are sick, or having sex. Having sex with your computer is sick.

Too much non-essential activity before work because you couldn’t keep your hands off someone is liberating. Being late because keep your hands off a keyboard is just lonely.

Your computer is a non-living thing that needs to move aside for something that needs oxygen to survive. Even if it’s a plant. Something that needs your care and interest to survive, and that gives you a bit of joy and satisfaction: none of which applies to your computer.

I think y’all have a really good point about the fundamental psychology behind procrastination. At some level, what I am trying to “escape,” though, is simply boring tasks (most importantly studying). However, focusing on goals rather than current unpleasantness helps a lot. Something I liked in the recent “emotional eating” thread is thinking of unproductive tasks (like procrastination) as you “punishing” yourself rather than rewarding yourself.

I LOVE this idea. This is perfect. BF suggested getting a nice monitor, and wireless keyboard and mouse, so that I can use my laptop as a kind of “desktop,” but still have the mobility when I need it. I think that also will help with dispelling the notion that the laptop is appropriate in bed.

I have also thought about logging out frequently, so getting online requires just that little extra step and work, which might help me to think twice.

I actually did for a night, and the amazing difference I noticed is partially what inspired this thread :slight_smile:

I would actually go with this. Except a lot longer. I remember not having internet for awhile , defacto because my pc went kaput for a couple of weeks. It forced me to do other things. Paint, clean the appt, go for a bike ride etc.