I have a problem. It is called “mindless browsing on the internet”. I get drawn into link after link after link. Pretty pictures. Interesting articles. Wikipedia. Anything but focusing on writing the novel, completing the work, blogging, or something productive that will pay off down the road.
I decided I don’t have time for the time wasting, what with baby already taking up several hours that I used to do…what exactly with?
The first step was cutting myself off of Facebook last week. Quel experiment. I mostly did not miss it, although yesterday I wondered what, if anything, L’s dad was posting. (I used to notice he used to tell me those things eventually though, music he was listening to, photos he had taken…then I had to pretend I hadn’t already seen it on his facebook because nothing ends a conversation faster than, “oh, I saw that on your facebook already.”)
I notice I miss it the most when I’m trying to distract myself from a task at hand. It was a plentiful array of amusements: superficial messaging, stalking-cum-overly-friendly-interest cultivated in the lives of strangers, cute baby shots, irritating posts, gags, birthdays, new music, videos, changing self-flattering profile photos (“selfies”), useless life updates….not to mention the constant, unspoken invitation to compare ourselves constantly with our friends, followers and acquaintances. Will I too go to Hawaii or buy a BMW? Will I win a pulitzer and get a phD in muslim studies? Don’t I want that? After I cut myself off, I dreamt about a woman who constantly posts personal information about herself and her family. Did I go into withdrawal? In my dream we had had a passive aggressive fight….she sent somebody to tell me she was mad at me, a la sixth grade.
The second step – gah- is cutting myself off of email during work hours! And feedly, an excellent google reader, which is my new time wasting time waster.
I decided I had to get tough with myself. Bam! Enter “Stay Focused” a chrome app. Apps are super easy to use in Chrome. This one also works across several platforms. Find it here. Basically, you enter in the sites you are addicted to — ahem– I mean that you like to browse, and it limits your time within them to 10 minutes (automatically, although you can try to change this and permit more time it will guilt you with a message of, ‘are you sure you want to increase the amount of time you are wasting? that doesn’t seem very wise…). How….clever.
Either I’ll now become extremely productive, or I will write a novel or blog all the time!! Or I will discover new, unblocked websites to waste my time on, outrunning the blocker from site to site to site.
I wonder if this will work…..