So... I have a problem. I was thinking today and I realized that I am in front of my computer WAY more than I should be. This occured to me when I woke up from one of my naps and made a beeline for the computer. I then realized that I repeat this behaviour every single time I wake up!
Further, there's no reason for me to be in front of this giant box 'o fun. Well, right now there is because I'm writing a post, but for most of the day I DEFAULT to sitting in front of the computer. I scan through the 30 or so sites I have on my toolbar, even though most of them only update once or twice a day at most.
This is sick! Think about it - none of my interesting stories start of with "So, I sat in front of the computer all day...". Every hour I spend in front of this thing is an hour that my life is NOT getting more interesting. I spend a lot of time online chatting with my friends, which I enjoy, but is that really the best use of my time? Probably not.
What's worse is that it FEELS like an addiction. I'll think "I should clean my kitchen." and then I'll play freecell. Freecell! As if playing freecell could possibly contribute anything valuable to my life. I routinely shirk other duties to waste time at the computer.
The weak justification I rattle around in my brain is that I use the computer to make my income. Fine. If I was using it to make money even 75% of the time I was in front of it, I would be eating gold covered diamonds onboard a submarine in the pacific.
I've often told people that I was going to take up smoking for a month just to quit it and prove that it was easy. But if I kick the computer addiction, that's MUCH more meaningful, because it's actually something I'm addicted to, rather than a contrived publicity stunt.
I don't really have one yet. Let's work this out.
If I was at the computer for 2 hours a day, that would be more than enough for me to do everything I need to do. Realistically, it would be ideal for me to be monitoring it more frequently, but I'd rather start out at an extreme, and then add some time back in. So that's easy - I'll keep a stopwatch near the computer, reset it every day at midnight, and allow myself no more time than 2 hours per day.
The more grey area is my phone. It's a Treo 650, which is a palm pilot and a phone all smooshed into one. Browsing the web is slow enough that I won't waste my time, but IMing could become a problem. Actually, my IM program for it is super flaky, so maybe that won't be a problem. Also, typing on it is somewhat annoying, so I may not be too inclined to use it.
The only exception I'm going to allow is for projects which require the computer. I have a system of 5 computers that are responsible for things in my house (lights, media, internet routing, etc), so obviously those will stay on. One project I"m going to work on is reprogramming some of my lights, which will require I use my laptop to look up stuff. As long as IM and the web browser remain closed, I'll allow it. Oh... and Freecell will stay closed too.
Now - all that remains to do is to shut this bad boy off. I will report back on how it feels to be free of my computer addiction.
Seriously. I'm gonna do it. You dont' have to keep reading.
I've compiled a list of 52 Reasons Why Programmers Work On Weekends: http://richinternetapplications.com.au/blog/?p=21
Oh and i have mentioned it a number of times but i just dont think things click in his head that he is ignoring me...it makes me feel like nothing when he does that.
Hey my boyfriend is always on the computer playing games especially counter strike...hurr sometimes I get angry that he is constantly on his computer or working on his car...How do I get his attention..I have tried to get involved in what he does but all he does is sit in front of the computer and i just land up sitting away from him.. he isolates himself in that world and I wnat to spend time with him...what should I do...I love him very much but sometimes i just can not stand it...
I think it's a very good plan man, I am having the exact problem but I don't play card games I play counter-strike and stuff. Anyways I want to do something other than play computer all day with my life. I want to learn new stuff, explore the world. Do interesting stuff. GET A GIRLFRIEND. So all I can say to this piece of robotic piece of |S|H|I|T| arios Amigo !!
I've been addicted, knowingly addicted to this damn machine for years. In the past ten years, I must have spent at least 2 FULL YEARS awake and sitting behind a computer.
It's sad, but a true addiction. I'll be following your progress closely to see how you progress.
You know I think extra awareness is where it's at. I wonder if we can find a little clock that would sit in your taskbar and count the number of minutes spent in front of the computer today.
Tynan: I suggest you write your posts in an old-fashioned pad of paper. It doesn't have to be complete, just write out what you want to say. It takes longer but it's nice to get in the habit of using something non-electronic for something you'd normally use a computer to do.
Along the same lines, play Freecell! ... with a physical deck of cards. The game isn't bad, just the computer part.
Thanks for all the comments...
Magnus - I agree that that in itself isn't a bad habit. The problem is that when you wake up 6 times a day, it adds up fast. Also, I procrastinate getting off the computer. I'm going to stick to my 2 hour limit for a while (actually, I might change it, which I will discuss in my entry tonight), but I don't intend to stay with such a restrictive policy.
Niels - I've personally never gotten into RSS. I didn't even realize anyone used my RSS until I checked my server logs. A bunch of people use it. It's probably a good idea, though.
Dang! This sounds rreally familiar :)
I've been hooked to computers since I got my first own computer when I was 16 (24 now). When I started college I bought a spanking new AMD 1100 and that was it, my surfin' habit kicked in, HARD. For you people wondering whether you're addicted too, there's this list you can check off.
Anyways, I've tried spending less time staring at the box by making commitments like yours Ty. I've even unplugged my computer for a month and I could only use the computers at the library. That did work but I just made an excuse to plug it back in and there I was again.
The best question to ask in this situation is "Is this the best use of my time right now?". And also not to give using your computer any priority.
Good luck Ty and everybody else trying to kick it.
If you browse past 10 newssites looking for updates on them I can really recommend using RSS (Ty also offers it). In combination with an RSS reader or a customized homepage like www.google.com/ig you can see all the latest updates of your favorite websites in one screen. Clicking on one of the items brings you right to them. You can also have updates mailed to you by using a site like www.squeet.com. RSS really rocks.
>Hey tynanÃ¢â‚¬¦how about writing your posts without opening a >browserÃ¢â‚¬¦say in notepadÃ¢â‚¬¦ Therfore you can always keep posts >and still have 2 hours.
This is actually a very good idea!
For the past three months I have been using Rescue Time, which is a really amazing tool to track your time usage.
It runs in the background and logs every single thing you do on your computer. Then when you log in to the web dashboard you can categorize the sites and programs you use and also rate them according to productivity.
From there it draws out a few stats and lets you see where your time is being spent.
Just look at those fun little icons many of us windows office workers have come to love. I know the Spider Solitaire and Minesweeper icons are kinda tough looking, but they are tough in a "fun" way. That's why the sucker punch they gave me was so unexpected. I mean they are just a nice little games to give me a break when my brain is a little tired or when I need a break before starting the next project. How could it turn out like this?
I noticed this after winning a quick game of FreeCell...
And this after the computer beat me in a friendly game of Chess Titans...