h a l f b a k e r y
This would work fine, except in terms of success.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
If you have a task that needs to be done on the computer, but you are, like me, prone to distraction at even the slightest thing, you can enable this setting. It allows you to select one or two programs to use, as well as a few folders which you can access, and set a time limit for how long you will
It then prevents your operation of any other program or access of any other file. Background tasks initiated by the computer can still function, but you cannot use anything other than what you nominated until the time is up.
This would have been rather helpful in the last week.
baked for the Internet
several options to choose from [sninctown, Oct 25 2009]
This will tell you how you wasted your time [sninctown, Oct 25 2009]
Stop Your Search Engines
Timely article on voluntary self binding [Ian Tindale, Oct 26 2009]
||I've often wanted this but I suspect that some of
parental control software is capable of this kind of
||If you have this, will you choose to use it?
||"Inadequate user. Please install upgraded user and reboot."
||Just block this site, and you're half way there.
||[Ian]: I would, because my work pattern tends to come in spurts. I start off with the best of intentions, but after a while gradually drift away to elsewhere. I tried switching off the Internet (my laptop has a little switch by the side; I rule you all) but even the little that's on my computer was distracting.
||Instead of actually blocking those other programs, create a program which observes the starting of new programs, starts a 60 second timer, and kills the new program if it's not shutdown in that time.
||This way, if you *need* to do something (like run a calculator, or take a screenshot), you can, but you don't get much time to be distracted.
||Bun with [goldbb]'s modification. You often find that you actually need to use the internet for fact checking or reading relevant emails.
|| Also, have a timer to prevent the app being immediately restarted. Some browsers can simply reopened with the pages they were closed with. Simply closing them periodically would only be a minor annoyance.
||I need this for stumbleupon, bad.+
||dbmag9, - I know what you mean, mine comes in
spurts too. But this falls into the same category that a
lot of ideas do, that of a limitation that somehow gets
enforced globally or in a manner that doesn't involve
individual choice, and it's somehow "for the better"
while only actually taking something away. Given that
people actually do have choice to a certain extent,
it's likely they'll say "stuff this" and simply not use
this, or the electrocuting hat, or the reinforced
concrete underpants, or the dissolving credit card, or
the length-restricted ankle-braces, or the automatic
powered needle that shoots directly into the brain to
make you smoke less. People will put those options
aside and simply never use them.
||The point I'm making, I suppose, is that this isn't really
the direction that 21st century innovation by smart
people should be demonstrating. On the other hand,
if most of us were around for the medieval power
structures of the belief control and persuasion
industries, we'd be considered very highly desirable
and in demand, with our characteristic ideas that
aren't really torture or sadistic at all, that's just a few
bad reviews, ignore them.
||Uh, actually this does involve individual choice. You choose to activate it on your computer. If you need to get something done but you know you're the sort of person who gets distracted, locking yourself out of those distractions for a while makes sense.
||[I've posted a timely link up there, too]
||I'm in exactly the same situation as the original poster
and have been for
the past few decades, and I'm sure most of us here
can identify also, so it's not something I haven't
thought of highly deeply and at length.
||If it's a procedure I have to voluntarily engage, I
probably won't. After all, closing a tab or window, or
closing an application, or closing the computer, is
equally just a voluntary action. Why didn't I choose
that? Why don't you just elect to do that. It's exactly
the same as proposed - just an action - except that
it's free and already available. What makes you think
that one action will be performed because the other
for some self-imposed reason can't? The necessary
action is already there - but it doesn't get used. This
will fall into that bucket too before long. This doesn't
alter the motive, the driver, the payoff, of behaving
like we do - it simply posts a Nazi SA guard beside
our shoulder, because we voluntarily thought it'd be a
good idea to put one there for a while. After a while
you'd rather not - it's your choice. It doesn't actually
change why you need it.
||Personally, and this probably only works for myself,
my modification to my payoff for fannying about
online most of the day before I convince myself that
I've been usefully productive even though there's
nothing to show for it, is to draw a hard line between
'input' and 'output', and recognise that most
enjoyment of surfing the web is definitely
entertainment and therefore 'input' but so in fact are
the many years of 'research' (which in the case of the
past couple of years at least do add up to research in
that I've got a (too slim) reference list). Even
so, a lot of this 'research' is still input - especially
when it becomes hypertextually 'blue-sky'. At some
point I have to
turn it around and do 'output'.
||In the past couple of months I've done that and I get
immense satisfaction in watching the chapter(s) grow
and in one case reach a state I could provisionally
term 'completion'. I also get a good feeling from
wasting a usual bout of time on fannying about on the
web, but finishing that drug all the sooner, and
concluding that "there's not much on the internet
today" or "well, I've read all of the internet today",
and switching activity by physically getting up and
sitting somewhere else and doing something else
without feeling like I'm simply taking a break.
||I suspect that's the internal driver behind a lot of
prolific bloggers and microbloggers - they recognise
this 'input vs output' profile of activity, and so their
output counts as 'productive', despite that they're
simply contributing to the noisy wallpaper through a
write-only medium less valuable and more disposable
than the paper at the bottom of a budgie cage.
Nevertheless, it's a step toward genuine productivity.
||I half suspect that the big underlying reason behind
the "credit crunch" wasn't the sub-prime risk bubble at
all but that most of the seemingly productive people
in office jobs at all tiers were just spending 95% of
that time on facebook and not producing anymore.
Output (or at least, useful durable valuable output)
||This is a good idea. It would work well in schools / universities as well, where you don't need to cripple the machines all the time, but during classes and the like it would be beneficial.
||I think I would waste more time trying to find a way to beat the system! But +.