“Hi, my name is Jane, and I’m an internet addict…” Who amongst us hasn’t felt at one time or another as if we needed a twelve-step group to conquer our internet addiction? It’s a worldwide phenomenon that has revolutionised our lives, and sometimes it’s hard to remember just what life was like without it. On the other hand, sometimes it’s hard to imagine how we can possibly get anything done with it. It’s a relentless, seductive time-sink, with the lure of email, a million different sites and dozens of ways to pass an idle, unproductive ten minutes, hour, or lifetime.
So how do you resist the siren song of the internet, when you really need to get a project finished, clean the house, finish your regular work-related duties, or just, you know, get stuff done?
Fear not – just read my five tips for stopping the internet from sucking up all your time, and learn to relegate it to its proper place in your life, as a good servant rather than a bad master.
1 Set up two operating systems to dual boot on your computer
Or you could get someone else to do it, if you’re not a technologically minded type. What does this do for you? Well, say you have both Windows XP and Red Hat Linux set up to boot from your hard drive, according to which you select when the boot menu is displayed at start-up. You may have Internet Explorer or Firefox or Google Chrome set up on both of them, but your email client on one only.
This means that, for example, at the beginning of the day you boot up Windows to check your email. Then you re-boot your computer, boot up Red Hat, and thereby remove the temptation to check your email again until you decide you really need to.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you – technically – from re-booting your computer every ten minutes, and checking your email just as frequently as before. But really, are you going to actually do that? The point of this exercise is that it raises the bar of difficulty and makes checking your email just enough of a pain in the butt to be an effective deterrent against doing so. Ask yourself – do you really need to know if you’ve received any hair loss, weight loss or Viagra spam in the last ten minutes? » Read more: How to Stop the Internet From Sucking Up All Your Time