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jca's avatar

When you have things that need to be done, at home or at work, do you get side-tracked by the urge to go onto the computer (or smartphone) to do fun, personal stuff?

Asked by jca (28496 points ) September 8th, 2012

On weekends, when I am home alone, I always have things that need to be done. Organizing, cleaning, reading my book for book group, etc. However, I find myself constantly fighting the urge to go onto the computer, to check email, Facebook, Fluther, and I supplement those with other sites that I will think of to check other things and information.

Same at work.

I find it very distracting and I often give in to the urge and find myself not as productive as I would like to be. At home, on a Friday night, I’ll find that easily a few hours goes by of my checking, checking, viewing, viewing back and forth.

Other friends of mine tell me they find themselves on the computer for hours, passing time, wasting time (I guess whether or not it’s a waste is a matter of opinion. You could argue that if it’s pleasurable, it’s not a waste).

Do you find this happens to you too? Are you distracted by the urge to go onto the computer (or smart phone) and spending hours, therefore, not getting anything done otherwise?

If so, how do you handle the internal debate about spending time?

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18 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Sometimes, but fluther is the only site I participate in. Dropped FB a few years ago, it bored me. I tend to work in bursts and while I do procrastinate at times I am a white tornado when I need to be. This is my particular “style,” from zero to 60 in less than than 30 seconds. lol

SuperMouse's avatar

All. The. time.

I try to handle it by forcing myself to get stuff done before turning on the computer. Usually though, the computer wins.

marinelife's avatar

I sometimes use the computer to procrastinate, but usually when I am focused on a project, I ignore the computer.

Sunny2's avatar

All the time! I yell at myself to turn the computer off and get busy! Fluther and sudoku puzzles distract me constantly. It’s only partly the ADD.

ninja_man's avatar

I might be doing that very thing right now. What I try to do is parse my time up as much as I can. That is to say, I try to shorten the increments in which work and browsing are preformed, in order to maximize time spent working.

Bellatrix's avatar

Absolutely! I had Auggie ban me so to remove the temptation to Fluther. There were still distractions but the main one was removed. I also use a program and block time wasting sites for a few hours at a time. Once I get into a task I get a lot of work done. I just need to remove the distractions until I settle into the task.

zenvelo's avatar

Constantly. Facebook, email, Fluther, OkCupid. I try to tell myself 5 minutes only, and then I get lost in something or write an answer on Fluther and ten minutes are gone.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Yep. Pretty much 90% of a modern human’s life is spent trying to control and override basic animal instincts/urges.

downtide's avatar

At home, yes. My internet access at work is very restricted and I’m usually too busy to even look.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. I come to this site when I have to do distasteful work. It’s a bit like hiding under the covers. I close my eyes, wiggle my nose, and “poof! ” the work is still there . :-(

cookieman's avatar

At home, never – because I’m always with my wife and daughter. If I disappeared to the computer without good reason, they’d be calling for me in about five minutes.

At work, I open up three desktop windows (you can do this on Macs). Window #1 has work stuff on it. Window #2 has fun stuff, Internet, or personal projects on it. Window #3 is always empty.

I spend approximately 30 minutes on window #1, switch to window #2 – spend approximately 30 minutes there, switch to window #3 and get up and do something physical (visit a class, drop off papers, talk to a colleague, etc.). Return to desk, start over.

I find this very productive and calming.

janbb's avatar

Q.E.D.

YARNLADY's avatar

I get side tracked by everything. When I go in the kitchen to do the dishes, I see a towel that needs to go to the laundry, then I go around the house and gather up the laundry. Sometimes I’m lucky before I turn on the first load, I remember I was going to do the dishes first.

Then I go back to my computer to see if my e-mail or blog have loaded yet, and it’s another 45 minutes before I get back to the dishes.

augustlan's avatar

Um. Yes.

hearkat's avatar

Guilty. Before the Internet, there was cable television… hours and hours of my young adulthood spent flipping channels. Now I almost never watch TV, but I go through my various social sites, and play my online games with friends, and it seems tough trying to keep up with it all at times. But I’ve always been a procrastinator – especially for household chores, and I’m sure I can always find something I’d rather be doing than that.

I will sometimes use the timer to remind me when the time I said I’d use is up; but I often ignore that, too.

prasad's avatar

I admit I do.

My professor, Japanese techniques and some of things from Industrial engineering, tell that we need to measure before we can say (analyze or infer) something about it. I noted down time spent on my daily activities for a month, and was abashed to find out the results.

I have seen some very hard working Japanese who always carry with them a small diary and a pen (or pencil). They write down things that they want to do; that way they do not forget them. They list them, and mark a tick or strike out items that have been done.

prasad's avatar

“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education,” it was said by Professor Huxley, “is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson which ought to be learned, and, however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson which he learns thoroughly.”

Book: Iron Will, author: Orison Swett Marden, chapter I, page 4.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Yes. As a born procrastinator, it’s very easy to waste hours online. I do try to set aside time during the week for other obligations or ways to enjoy my leisure time, but the internet is an addictive means of consuming my attention.

Made a to-do list a few weeks ago, and once things settle down at work in a week or two, I plan to implement it, and in the process try to train myself to limit my computer time. I don’t have high hopes given past efforts at doing this, but regardless of failing, I will, as they say, try, try again.

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