Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back away from the Internet connection!

When I'm writing, I am easily distracted. I'll be working a section and think, "Oh, I need info on Regency fireplaces to write this." So I'll stop in the middle of a sentence, do some research, and then check my email, check FB, check Blogger, read the news. And then thirty minutes are gone. Or sixty.

Many times I've wished there was some way to put a lock or a timer on my Internet connection, so that I couldn't access it at random. But alas, the only solution was to disconnect completely. Not an option, of course, because we must have Internet access sometimes. So I relied on my self control. Yeah, that didn't work to well.

In November we bought a new computer. We decided to get a desktop, since working on my laptop was giving me neck problems. We didn't want anything fancy, just something to run Word and the Internet. We found a great Black Friday deal: nice big screen, keyboard, mouse. You know, the basics.

When it arrived, we plugged it in, fired it up, marveled at the speed. And then we clicked on Explorer button. Nothing. Multiple clicks. Nothing. And then we realized: no modem.

Wha?? Is there a computer built today that doesn't have a modem? Yep. We bought it.

And you know what?

Best. Mistake. Ever.

We bought a USB modem, a tiny little thing that plugs into the front of the computer. Easy to use. And easy to hide. Now, I allow myself an hour in the morning to do my social media stuff. And then I unplug the modem and hide it. I retrieve it at lunchtime and give myself another hour. And hide it somewhere else. If I have to research something, I write it down and do it at the allotted hour.

Productivity returns!

What about you? Do you have to take drastic measures to stop yourself from wasting time?


  1. WOW! That IS one of the best mistakes you could possibly make! Umm, I'm procrastinating RIGHT NOW. I have an essay due today but I don't want to write it....AWKWARD!

    I don't really have any measures to stop myself....which I pay for.

  2. Great because it's so true - the Internet ist eh most distracing thing,more than TV! I can easily while away a day doing nothing but browsing or blogging :)

    Discipline, you have to make it happen! :)

  3. omg, YES! And it is so hard. I'm the most distractible procrastinator! It's insane. But I love your little detachable modem. Instant discipline! :D Best~

  4. The long stretch of months (maybe a year) that I was working with a sad, old computer that had a messed up internet connect was they most productive time of my life...but then I got a new computer, started a blog, started following blogs, la di da. I think we all know how the story ends.

    But congrats on your resolve!

    Though reading books isn't a waste of time, I do have to cut back on reading when I really want to be productive because I can't read in little chunks. I'll read something straight through all my free time, even it's a ten book series that takes two weeks to read!

  5. My, my, my...I guess I better get myself one of those fancy new computers without the modem...
    You are not alone: "easily distracted" seems to be my middle name ever since I started my blog and began reading more and more blogs myself. Here I sit...after noon...not one teeny-tiny dot done in my editing yet today!
    And, funny thing is, I've blogged about social networking sucking up too much time, and I've been reading more and more blogs about it lately too. There is a fine line between getting our name "out there" and getting lost in the networking world and leaving our writing in the shadows...

    I'm closing down the internet...and getting to work...NOW...
    OK, after I check my email, but that's IT!!

    Sharon :)

  6. Sounds like it worked out for you! That's awesome.

  7. lol. I have the internet distraction problem too. I generally go to the couch to write when the distractions get bad.

  8. I knew I wasn't alone!

    And Cacy, I'm with you. When I'm deep in write or revise mode, I have to limit my book consumption. Otherwise, I'll just get my nose into a book and not look up until its done.

  9. Oh, that's awesome! We share wireless internet with our neighbor, so I have access to it 24/7, and I have the exact same problem! I have to take my laptop down to our garden-level den, where the wireless doesn't reach. So I've set up my own little workspace down there.

  10. OMG! nice post, Jenna.
    Yes, I sometimes find myself wasting time, especially surfing the net :(
    I am so hooked. This new "vice" has kept me from being productive (in my writing, that is).
    The only way to get away from this is by going out to dinner or a movie with my husband or with my friends.

  11. Brilliance! So far I rely on self-control and that works about half the time! :) Like now, I know I have a half hour, so here I am, catching up on blogs! :) But earlier today, I was steadfast in my writing...well, at least for an hour at a time. :)

  12. That's so cool! Controllable technology. I need that modem.