How to Stop Internet Surfing at Work in 5 Seconds or Less

January 15th, 2010

Are you reading this blog when you should be working?  Well…I hope not.  A surefire way to get fired is to surf the internet when you should be working.   But getting fired isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.

The worst is that you lose precious time from your life.

And time is the one thing you can never get back.

But forget time management. I’ve never believed in the concept (you can’t manage time; only yourself).  Rather than manage time, we can eliminate distraction.   And for all the conveniences modern society has given us, one thing we have more of is distraction. And the biggest distraction for many people is the computer…more specifically—the internet.

There is one solution I stumbled upon that will not only take care of the distractions of e-mail, instant messengers, and those pesky news sites but also every internet-related distraction you can think of.

And it’s so simple, you can take care of it in 5 seconds or less.

And that solution is…

…unplug yourself from the internet.

I know it’s sacrilege to say this, but when you are in the middle of a project or need to take some time to write (like I do) just reach your hand behind your computer and unplug your internet cable.

Have a wireless connection?

Go to your system tray, right-cick on the internet connection icon, and disable the connection.

I found that my actually having to go behind my computer and plug the cable back in, it forced me to ask myself, “Do I really need to get on the internet?” Because doing so meant I had to get up, reach my hand around, grope for the cable, and take time to find the right connection port. It may take 5 seconds or less to unplug the connection, but it always seemed to take longer to plug it back in.

9 times out of 10, it wasn’t worth it…no matter how much I wanted to check box scores.

You may be thinking a couple of things:

#1 “Duh! Why blog about something so blatantly obvious.” Well…sometimes the simplest solutions are the most obvious and the most frequently overlooked. Like the person who calls tech support about his computer not working only to discover that he had not turned on the power.

#2 “But I need the internet on to research. It’s impossible for me to turn it off.” In that case, disable it on your system tray. And ONLY enable it when you absolutely have to be online and then quickly disable it again. It don’t like this solution as much as unplugging it because you can get online much too easily. But for some of you who absolutely have to use the internet, it can boost your productivity by leaps and bounds if you disciplined enough.

Well, there you have it.  A 5-second solution to a big time-wasting activity.   Think about it, but don’t let it stop you from getting your daily dose of “Don’t Step in the Poop”.


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