88Pro Thinking

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

How to control web addiction?

I am getting more and more web addicted. I read quite a few sites, not just ones but visit repeatedly to see if there are any updates. Now I know about RSS, Atom and I have a FeedReader installed which pulls feeds from 100 different blogs and sites. However whenever I have couple of minutes in hand, I pop a URL out of my head and type it in the browser to see if there are any updates. Recently I realized that this has an impact on my productivity at work. It is well known that productivity happens when a person enters flow, a mental state of operation. Peopleware argues that it takes about 15 mins for someone to get into flow. If I keep on checking whole lot of websites every 10 mins or so I am not going to get into any flow and thus can’t expect full concentration on the job and productivity.

I was searching the web to find any tools that can help me put this in check. There are tools on the web that will block list of applications you configure, from loading and some people have added all their browsers to the list which will stop them from going to any web site. That particular solution will not help me since

1) I develop software which is browser based hence I need access to browser always
2) Google is absolutely necessary for my day to day work

Therefore my solution was not to block the browser itself, but block the sites I frequently visit. Came to my rescue was /etc/hosts file. I added all my sites to that file and mapped to local host. Entries look like news.cnet.com blogs.sun.com

Now things are under control and I am more disciplined. Before going to work I check all my news sites, blogs and reddit at home. At office its nothing but work :-)

posted by 88Pro / Sunday, June 11, 2006

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