What are some good tips on how to stay focused on your work and not get distracted by the internet?
January 2, 2004 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Aside from putting every site I tend to spend too much time on (including this one, shortly) into my hosts file pointing to, what are some other good tips on how to stay focused on your work and not get distracted?
posted by Space Coyote to Work & Money (10 answers total)
I, too, find that my work often distracts from my enjoyment of Metafilter.

Seriously, though, I bought myself a stop watch with a countdown timer. I set it for one hour, after which I get a ten minute break. I find that if I break up the day into manageable chunks like that, it makes it easier to concentrate. It's much easier to resist the temptation to browse when I know exactly how long I need to work until my break, as opposed to confronting the otherwise interminable workday.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:45 AM on January 2, 2004

If you work at home, it's pretty important to make a work space, which is for work only. If you get in the habbit of mixing your work space with your play space, you're sunk.
posted by grumblebee at 11:02 AM on January 2, 2004

Keep a *good* to-do list. And keep it updated.
posted by SpecialK at 11:13 AM on January 2, 2004

Do you have to be online to do your work? If not, unplug your ethernet cord, switch off your wireless. The initial thought of having to go through the step of plugging back in/switching it on reminds me I'm supposed to be working, and helps keep me on track.
posted by gramcracker at 11:44 AM on January 2, 2004

Thinking hard about the consequences of NOT working usually does it for me...
posted by Orange Goblin at 11:59 AM on January 2, 2004

I leave my browser off. Also, I schedule my screw off breaks, not so much by time as by task (e.g., finish this page, or this section of the write-up), and *then* I get to turn the browser back on (though it's hard to get it back off then).
posted by jasper411 at 12:14 PM on January 2, 2004

What if your work involves having a browser open at all times? It's becoming increasingly difficult for me to focus all of attention on work unless there's a deadline in the next few hours.
posted by yerfatma at 1:28 PM on January 2, 2004

the hosts file trick is pretty ironclad...why is this not working for you? If you need to tighten it up, "lock" the hosts file with a shareware like FileVault. If you use a truly random password, and keep it on a piece of paper at another location, you should be able to get through the day without hitting these sites.

I sympathize, it's a real problem that's not talked about enough, IMO.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:27 PM on January 2, 2004

I'd love to have a hack that would let me disable particular applications for a set period, say 45 minutes, and could only be disabled with a reboot.

My "self control" module is also broken.
posted by mecran01 at 3:35 PM on January 2, 2004

Response by poster: stupidsexy: It's not all that bad. But sometimes I do find myself randomly googling around searching for something new.

Oh well, back to work. I think monju's tip is the most helpful so far.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:07 PM on January 2, 2004

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