The only way I can work any longer

Being a good programmer is 3% talent and 97% not getting distracted by the Internet.

Firstly, a frank admission.

I procastinate.
A lot.

For every second I spend in front of my computer, trying to get some work done, there is a continous struggle going on between my “work” and “play” side of things. Unfortunately, the “play” side seems to be winning. A lot. So I decided to wage a war against it.

Here is my arsenal of tools:

  • get-shit-done - Script blocks all access to various sites(FB,reddit etc)
  • Chrome Profiles - One of my profiles is called “get-shit-done”. It features my development extensions, apps, bookmarks, and nothing else. It is plain vanilla Chromium with no puffy unicorns luring me to check my Facebook Notifications.
    Chrome Profiles
  • Music - I find Youtube a surprising good source of music discovery. I listen to almost everything. Recently, I’ve started to listen to Ludovico Einaudi. You may also like in this regard.
  • Minimal Tabs - I close a tab as soon as I’m done with it. This leads to ~3-5 tabs in my “get-shit-done” setup. A lesser number of tabs usually means a limit on the number of distracting links. Even Stackoverflow doesn’t help in this regard.
  • The get-shit-done profile even has settings to clear cache at closings. This leads to me being signed out of everything. Including GMail, Facebook, SO, and everything else. In this mode, I login to something, if it is essential to the work at hand.
  • Read It Later - I’ve setup all Hacker News feeds above 20 points to be saved automatically to my Read It Later account, which I can easily consume on my iPad at my leisure. However, I find myself itching to browse hckrnews every 5 minutes.

If you find yourself browsing facebook, reddit, youtube, hacker news, or reading blog posts on productivity, I urge you strongly to try this out. Defeating procastination is not easy. And its never a win-or-lose battle. What are your thoughts? How do you stop yourself from getting lost on the internetz? Tell me in comments.

Published on February 18, 2012