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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Beating the addiction

In an earlier post I bemoaned my addiction to being constantly 'connected' and to the internet in general. This addiction is really becoming a problem for me as it is chewing into my productive time at work. Now while some people might not be bothered by this, I would much prefer to actually be earning the salary my employer pays me. It also prevents me from really enjoying my online time as much as I could, because I constantly feel guilty. This addiction takes the following forms:
-Constant email monitoring
-Obsessive monitoring of XML based RSS streams
-Following the above RSS streams to further distracting websites
-Forum monitoring
-Instant Messenging
-Time consuming blog posts and Flickr uploads.

As with any addiction, I believe the first step to solving the problem is admitting that it exists. I've done that. The next step is decide what is actually acceptable (going out and having a drink with friends is fine, as opposed to working your way through an entire bottle of jack every evening).So I'm going to set some ideal goals for myself, in relation to the above.
-Check email three times a day: when I get to work, at lunch, and just
before leaving (after work hours) IF I don't have something important to get
-Check RSS streams twice a day: In the mornings when I get in and at
lunchtime. Only follow related links at lunchtime (the same goes for links
emailed to me by friends and colleagues.
-Only check forums at lunchtime.
-Only IM during lunch, and after 3 in the afternoon (when I am least
productive anyway).
-Only blog at lunch Monday to Thursday, and after 4pm on Friday.

Of course, going 'cold turkey' is almost impossible unless you're locked away at Betty Ford, with no way to get at your addiction. So I'll take this week by week, setting weekly goals with the long term goal in mind. I'll report progress weekly (on a friday afternoon). I intend to achieve my 'ideals' in four weeks or less. The following are my goals for this week (ie
I have to stick to these limits until friday, when I will log my progress and establish new limits for next week):
-Check email when I arrive at work, 10am, lunch, 3pm and possibly before
going home.
-Check RSS streams when I arrive and at lunch. Links may be immediately
-Check forums when I arrive and at lunch, only post replies at lunch.
-Only IM at and after lunch.
-Only blog and Flickr at lunch Monday to Thursday, and after 4pm on Friday.

For the record I'm posting this at lunch time. Wish me luck, or better yet join me ;)


Lord Spaceman said...

Dude, I have EXACTLY the same addiction as you. If it's not the MyADSL forums, it's News24 and if it's not that it's the NAG forums.

Flint said...

So join me ;)
Set yourself some realistic short and long-term goals, put them up on your blog, and comment each Friday on how your progress is going.
I'm subscribing to your blog's stream, so I'll know when you're posting on the stuff and if you're slipping up-and get other readers of your blog to do the same :)
Good luck!

Lord Spaceman said...

Lol. I don't know how many times I've tried. "Curse you Web of infinite wisdom and your addictive offerings !!!" if what I say. Sometimes I don't even know when I'm doing it. Lucky I'm mates with the Network admin, or else I would have been fired ages ago. :)

Justin Paver said...

Yes I'm addicted. But, luckily I actually live in fear of abusing the internet priviledge at work. I only do it during lunch times & quickly in the mornings. Occasionally when I'm waiting for a long compile I'll pop in and check my gmail but then it's shut and back to work.

Getting home is another story. I'd love to get down to personal projects, but my discipline is running a bit low at the mo.

Debbie2 said...

You are not alone. I'm now back on dial-up to solve my problem :)


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