Grand Procrastinator

Hello People!
I just read about this in Fast Company:

Freedom is an application that disables networking on an Apple computer for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom will free you from the distractions of the internet, allowing you time to code, write, or create. At the end of your selected offline period, Freedom re-enables your network, restoring everything as normal.

For me… Saying i waste time online is relative, because i’m always reading about interesting stuff, but the truth is sometimes i don’t do what i am supposed to be doing.
It got me thinking…
How many hours do i stay without going online when working on the computer.

Now they say self discipline is key for success in anything. I don’t know if i need it, could as well just unplug or disable wiireless, i find the creation of this interesting from a behavioral standpoint. it’s a bit like putting a lock on the fridge.


Hard to work without the ability to at least send emails. Instead I use something called LeechBlock for Firefox. You can set it to shut you down after a certain amount of time, and categorize sites into groups. I figure I’m entitled to a little break now and then, so I’ve got my timewaster sites (like Core) grouped and set to shut off after 20 minutes of cumulative browsing time between 8am and 5pm. Of course the fatal flaw is that you can always jump over to Safari or IE…

Program called selfcontrol for OSX blocks you from accessing any thing that you input (i.e. facebook) and it will never ever let you undo it. You are blocked from the things you put in until the timer you set runs out.

I’m pretty sure if I unplugged my ethernet cable in order to get away from the internet, I’d have it plugged back in within 10 minutes. I need a support group…

I am need of constant distraction. Being a freelancer I rely heavily on websites like this to interact with other designers and keep my mind alive otherwise I melt into a puddle of uncreative stupor.

If I worked at a company I imagine I would waste just as much time yakking with people around the office anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

now, BoingBoing what goodies have you waiting for me now ?!?!?

i sometimes think i have a problem with web using. I am on it waay too much, and will often browse stupid and or pointless things when i HAVE to get work done. my productivity definitely suffers, as does the quality of my work. So far my only method of getting work done is either working in the same room as someone else (competition!) or going to places where i’d feel bad watching youtube all the time (library).


I find just writing down everything you’ve done for the day in something like Outlook can help. It’s a good eye opener when you check the clock and see that you’ve spent 2 hours playing mafia wars or surfing corev.
Force yourself to time everything you do and put it in any calendar/appointment program, not so much for planning but so that you can look at it at the end of the day to see if you were really productive and so you can see where your time really went in terms of daily deliverables. Just doing that and knowing you’ll have to own up to the calendar at the end of the day helps keep me on target.
Then after doing that so that you see where you really are, then set the calendar appointments ahead of time and give yourself specific time to do all of the things you normally do, just more structured. You can’t lie to yourself and say you’ll completely cut out core during business hours, etc…or you won’t follow it at all, just like a diet. Make it realistic, give yourself some play time, just limit it to specific times so that you can still get your work done. Especially for us freelancers!

Just got this, I is going to use it , starting now.

To me, working in a corporate environment, mails are the biggest distraction. Outlook pops a window at every mail and if you get say just 40 mails in an 8 hours day you get a distraction every twelve minutes. You cannot do your best in ten minutes shifts !

I realized that no email needs an answer immediately. If you answer immediately you just add to the enormous clutter of meaningless information. A well though-out answer 3hours later is better than 10 emails bouncing back and forth every ten minutes.

So when in a hurry I shut Outlook. Check it three times a day. You work so much better !
The limit is when you spend the whole morning solving the problems of the “morning outlook check”…

Another better way is to stay at home. You don’t get the phone calls and people interrupting. With the Virtual Private Network I can have a look at my emails. Of course you need to have enough seniority or freedom in your job to be able to come and go without getting fired by your boss !

I can handle my internet time more easily because the distraction is limited to the time spent on the web. And it gives me valuable inputs to keep on going. Mails just carries more problems to solve and when you shut Outlook they still linger in your head ! : )

I’ve found that several friends or friends of friends who are freelancers share a space for cost reasons but also because it gives a “work atmosphere” and it’s better for the concentration. If the three other are quiet working you don’t feel like playing a videogame I guess.

So if you feel attracted enough to the net to install a “web monitor” of some sort maybe it’s time to try the “shared freelancers workspace system” ?

What do you think ?

These are top issues for me too. The email time-suck (lots of messages revolve around time sensitive responses) and constant real distractions, like meetings, are significant problems. I need to get into a rhythm in order to be most productive and it is very difficult with stuff like this being a big part of the day.

I’m always suspiscious of top-down, self-imposed solutions like this. Habits trump products.

I am trying to develop more of an awareness of how I spend my time and why. When I am mentally grounded, productivity just flows. When I am not, no rule or lock-on-the-fridge type of solution will help for very long.

So what I am saying is… wait a second, why am I posting on Core right now? I have 20 other things to do. Excuse me while I lock myself in an empty room with a wifi-disabled laptop.

Ok … but the lock on the fridge can be good in the beginning to kick start you and start forming, or un-forming the habit.