Marvin Rabe

Limiting Internet usage

As I told you in my last blog post, I want to watch fewer TV series and become more productive. Yesterday, I monitored my online usage and drew some conclusions about it. I definitely watch too many TV series in my leisure time.

I saw six episodes (every episode is around 45 minutes long) of Enterprise yesterday. It is a great series, but I left many important tasks unfinished. So let’s face it: I am addicted to TV series.

Of course, heroes from TV series entertain themselves sometimes, but they still finish their important tasks. Imagine if Captain Kirk were to watch TV series excessively like I do. One thing I know for sure, he wouldn’t have time to explore strange new worlds.

Limit computer time

The first thing I wanted to achieve is to get more computer free time.

For that I set up Windows parental controls for my default user account, but in order to do that I had to create a new admin account. This new account was set up with a painfully long password to assure that I don’t switch off the parental controls from time to time.

I learned that the Windows parental control are kind of useless; except the time limiting feature. I created a time schedule that allows me to use my private computer only at a specific time. I’m allowed to use it from 12:00 to 22:00.

With that setup I have enough time for important (not computer related) tasks in the morning, and in the evening there is time for reading books. Sounds promising…

Blocking addicting websites

Now I got more time away from the computer. But I’m still able to watch far too many movies later in the day.

To fix this I set up Cold Turkey. This little tool blocks the access to certain websites by adding them to the host file (contains mappings of domain names to IP adresses). Fortunately, my default user isn’t an admin anymore, so there is no quick way for me to alter this file.

I decided to permanently block all streaming websites and link directories. This was a tough decision, but I think it was the wisest one.

Conclusion

Today was my first day with those limits and I successfully cleared everything from my to-do list.

I think setting up the parental controls was the most important thing because without them I would have booted my computer in the morning and would not stick to my plans. I could remove those limits at any time, but removing and resetting it needs some work that I’m not willing to do. Therefore, I have to stay with it.

It feels really strange not to be able to watch TV series. I will miss it, but on the other hand I will have more time for important tasks.

Perhaps someday I will boldly go where no man has gone before.