Fighting my procrastination: Part 1
Hi, this post is going to be part of a series about productivity, procrastination and how to form better habits around open-source work.
I can be a terrible procrastinator. Sometimes it's productive procrastination, other times it's just browsing Reddit or watching YouTube videos. With these posts I want to share some of my approaches to keep my procrastination at a non-destructive level.
In retrospect, one key part of this battle has been to move my procrastination away from the computer and internet and to only use my computer for non-procrastination things. This post describes the key parts that are working for me right now.
I'm using two Firefox extensions to limit some of my procrastination:
Youtube Unhooked is a small extension that will block the more useless parts of youtube, such as recommendations, related videos and of course, the comments. I found this useful mostly for hiding the related videos section.
Facebook News Feed Eradicator is another very focused extension that will hide the Facebook news feed. This is useful because I pretty much only use Facebook for the events part.
You have probably already heard of LeechBlock. It worked for me for a
few weeks but I got into the habit of just going to
disabling it... Which brings me to my current solution for blocking websites.
/etc/hosts blocklist with cronjob
As a replacement for LeechBlock, I've been utilizing my
/etc/hosts file for
some time now. Editing it requires me to enter my sudo password which makes it a
bit more difficult to unblock blocked sites. However, it was not difficult
enough. I ended up removing sites from the file and never got around to
add them again.
To solve that problem, I now have an Ansible playbook that
creates a cronjob which runs every 2 minutes. The cronjob resets the
file to the contents of a
/etc/hosts_base file where all of my go-to
procrastination sites are blocked.
I have found this to work surprisingly well.
Of course, this has potential to fall apart if I start editing
so far that hasn't been the case.
An ongoing fight
I don't claim to have found a perfect solution here. It's more the case that I think that fighting procrastination is a never ending battle. I will always find some way to procrastinate. However, by at least limiting some of the bad habits on my computer, I think that I'm more likely to produce something of value when I'm using it without distractions.