Controlling the Internetz

Original picture by HeyGabe, creative commons.
The internet is a beautiful, wonderful thing. I mean, without it, I'd be stuck alone out here, still waiting for my hard copy of Writer's Market to show up so I could send letters to agents asking if it was okay to query them my fictional novel.

But it's kind of a time suck, yeah?

I can't say I've solved that, but here are a couple of things I've found that have helped me tremendously:

1) Take an internet sabbath.
Some people say you should unplug for a couple weeks or a month. Maybe that's right for you. To me, a month-long break just means 600 e-mails I'll have to slog through when I come back online.

But one day a week? I can totally do that. I have been for nearly a year now. It's not always easy, but it definitely reminds me that I don't have to be All Online, All The Time.

2) Study (and limit) your internet usage.
There are lots of browser extensions that can help tell you how much time you waste spend on certain sites, and can also limit your usage.

For Firefox, I used Mind the Time to track how much time I spend and where, and once I know that, I use LeechBlock to cut off my usage after a certain time. Safari and Chrome have a similar extension (that I've never used, but it looks solid) called WasteNoTime.

They're not perfect, but these things definitely help me pay attention to why I'm on the computer.

Do you manage your time? How do you do it?


Sarah Ahiers said...

I'm pretty good about not letting the interwebz suck me in. I don't spend a lot of time online on the weekends, or really the evenings, and it works out well for me

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

I only let myself go online to catch up first thing in the morning, and then during my regular breaks. I do use the internet for research while I'm writing, and I do my best to make sure I'm not getting too distracted with random tangential googles! :)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Still working on it ... :)

Steve MC said...

Jonathan Frazen actually put superglue in the port of his laptop to keep himself from plugging in.

Me, I read just a dozen blogs and try not to go browsing 'cause I know I won't make it back before dark.

Matthew MacNish said...

I spend 9.5 hours in front of the internet every weekday, so my strategy is to avoid getting online from home as much as possible. Of course, when I have the laptop out, writing, it's ... a bit harder.

Ruth said...

I like this idea of no interwebz for one day a week! *implements it immediately*

Why have I never thought of this myself?? Probably distracted by Twitter.

Diana said...

I try to limit as much as I can. Most the time I use it is while I'm watching a movie and I'll look things up on my iPhone. There are days that I just sit and look at pinterest for about 15 minutes. 5x over :)