Meet the Arch-Nemesis of Productivity: The Internet

I often have to set a rule for myself: No surfing for a week. Then when I get bored I have work instead of surf.

Khoi Vinh ( recently wrote about productivity and the distraction of the computer. Specifically he created a mock-up of a product he would really like to see, a typewriter ( Though its only an idea, its definitely a interesting one. Currently the only existing product that’s similar is WriteRoom (

In truth this is no more than Notepad with an easy way to block all the network/desktop noise, but still interesting.

I want one of those willpower headbands like what they have in Star Wars video games. Who needs GTD when you can just wear a headband? :slight_smile:

I too work at the library when I need to get things done (especially on RubyCLR). The good thing is that there is Internet at the library but only in the form of public access terminals. I can still get answers to questions via the terminals. But my current project requires access to the Internet so my productivity is, um, suffering :slight_smile:

Your right, I am spending way too much time here. I’m deleting this site from my RSS reader right now. Cya!

The problem is that now we depend so much on the internet. Can’t disconnect the internet, because two minutes later I need to google for some trivial problem or something.

back in the 1906’s (yes i sorta remember the decade) there were high priced prep schools (the movement started in England, IIRC) where the students weren’t required to attend class or study or anything. but they couldn’t leave the campus. and there were no video games, etc. the first few weeks, they had a spree. but, in fact, they eventually focused. and were more so than their regular school peers. no idea what happened to such schools.

segue to 1983 (or thereabouts): M$ makes Word, and Apple does its thing. lots o studies (i’m too lazy to look em up again) have found that PC “productivity software” has had the opposite effect. folks find it more fun to worry about the look of the text than the meaning (or lack) of the text.

internet and blogging just continue the trend.

so, yes; unplug if you want to focus on the task to hand. few of us have such tasks.

Make a poster of this and sell it. I swear to god you’d be a rich man in a few weeks. It’s awesome.

I love the drawing. LOVE IT.

If you drew that you are my new hero!

i just hope some of the bandwagon-hopping masses that plague the internet take this to heart and unplug. Maybe so much time wouldn’t be “wasted” if there wasn’t so much “garbage” (you know… information posted by all of these these internet hipsters) to sift through before finding something 1) relevent and 2) worthwhile.

Thanks to the Internet, I now know that I’m not the only one who’s having a problem with procrastination. It makes me feel less lonely. Thanks so much, Internet!

I’ve often thought it would be handy to have a browser plug-in where I could just tell it to block sites I have marked up as not work related during work time.

I keep meaning to write it, but then I end up going and surf round the internet for a while instead…

When I add up all the times Unca Google has saved my bacon after I code myself into a tight spot, I figure it more than makes up for the few minutes of internet lovin every day.

Maybe dev teams should review URLs visited by each member at their weekly status meeting (the corporate firewall probably has a record). Everyone would know where you go, so you’d have a little conscience about where and how often. It’d also be a good way to share useful sites with other team members.

There are days when I only do about 30 minutes of actual work… the rest of the time I’m digging, emailing or something else. When your job is mind-numbingly boring, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the net. For me it serves as a work sedative, and my day flies by so much faster (although less productively).

Use a HOSTS file to create a soft block to all your favorite time consuming, non-work related websites (which is at c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts)

In fact I have codinghorror in my hosts file as :

I can still read codinghorror at work, but I have to edit the file, close and reopen the browser.

And I can still read it using web based rss readers. Maybe those are the next to go on my hosts file list.

I can tell you that I have indeed unplugged my cable jack and it made a HUGE difference.

You really should try it.

My problem is: Without internet, I’ll most probably end up daydreaming. :open_mouth:

actually, nowadays, without internet, we are goners…I mean, some people have faraway friends and talking to them by letter or phone would be too much of a long time, some people have projects and it involves pictures of things they had never seen before but know what it’s called…but people shouldn’t get addicted, I agree.

This is one of the greatest pictures I have ever seen in my entire life. You sir are a master of art!

yeah well i’m meant to be doing some work and i got on the internet to search for it and instead i’m sitting here writing this comment while my friend goes through a book for information! good old internet!