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Author Topic: The XKCD solution to Distraction Affliction  (Read 2031 times)

JennyB

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The XKCD solution to Distraction Affliction
« on: February 21, 2011, 11:22:58 AM »
Quote
Lots of people have asked me for the system I used to implement the restriction in the alt-text of today’s comic.
Quote
I made it a rule that as soon as I finished any task, or got bored with it, I had to power off my computer.

I could turn it back on right away—this wasn’t about trying to use the computer less. The rule was just that the moment I finished (or lost interest in) the thing I was doing, and felt like checking Google News et. al., before I had time to think too much, I’d start the shutdown process.  There was no struggle of willpower; I knew that after I hit the button, I could decide to do anything I wanted. But if I decided to look at a website, I’d have to wait through the startup, and once I was done, I’d have to turn it off again before doing anything else.

More here

Interesting idea - what do you do?
If you don't see how it can fail -
you haven't understood it properly.

tomos

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Re: The XKCD solution to Distraction Affliction
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 11:41:20 AM »
interesting idea all right :)

what do you do?
eh, fail - me, I mean :-\

In what he calls the alt-text ("tool-tip") for the comic ( http://xkcd.com/862/ ) he talks about a 30 second delay he has to wait through... this computer sure takes a lot longer to restart.
If I was trying out this idea, I'd be afraid of thrashing my computer from too many restarts before I'd actually break the "check dc/ check..." habit!
Definitely something to consider though...
Tom

vlastimil

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Re: The XKCD solution to Distraction Affliction
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 11:53:25 AM »
I found out that actually closing FireFox instead of minimizing it is enough to break the habit of continuous news checking. At least for me, it works. Now, to closing  ;).

Paul Keith

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Re: The XKCD solution to Distraction Affliction
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 12:20:41 PM »
Well I didn't skim the entire article but this doesn't sound like it's any different from blocking your browser from accessing a website or a program.

In that sense - don't you really and absolutely must be news reading to make it work? An early commentor brought up file downloading but to me I also have to worry about tab organization and session saving. Can't really get in the flow of organizing my tabs if I keep getting interrupted. Hence it's not just news reading, it has to be "light" news reading like the main reddit rather than following a breaking news sub-reddit or reading crap sites like CNN and not monitoring Twitter trends and then ultimately having a job or an interest where you are confident you know everything and all these news are basically just a way to "keep up to date" rather than discover important news.

I don't know if I'm just not the norm but I found that if I close Firefox, I end up opening Opera or playing a full-screen application (often a game). Most of what helps me from not being distracted is having applications opened since the seamlessness of opened apps allow me to copy paste a bookmark, annotate or snip something long, check up much quicker on my social networks knowing I really can't deal with lots of additional tabs right now and makes me become less active on distracting sites. Like I'm starting to lean off on my tabitis a bit and I end up returning less to DC and often closing this after I made a reply where as the more overloaded I become the less I'm on DC but the more distracted I become everywhere else - even going to a point where if I shut down my PC, I end up walking and talking to myself based on a forum or article that I probably don't plan to post anyway only to sit down, re-open Firefox and get back to Distraction Affliction.

Of course the downside of being more productive is that I seem to care less about edit mode and just type. Need something? Type and post it somewhere including typing it on DC. (like Stoic called me up on another thread about my usage of "the fact" as not being the whole story) Want something? Come back to DC, type, pop-out again. This isn't just for forums mind you but it can get kind of scary not contemplating about what you're trying to say and just tapping away at the keyboard.

barney

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Re: The XKCD solution to Distraction Affliction
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 08:14:20 PM »
I guess I'm abnormal  :o ... I don't seem to suffer from that affliction.  If I have something to do - cleaning house doesn't count! - I do it.  Distractions online don't seem to get in my way  :-\, although at times the phone does  :P.