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Show HN: Procrastinating? Take a 5min break without leaving your computer (break45.com)
74 points by hundredhours 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments

I noticed a lot of my procrastination came from habit. Opening Reddit, or Hacker News was the path to a surge of dopamine. Where as getting down to work didn't have the same surge. So I tried to just block "bad sites". That helped, but I still found myself occasionally opening a new tab, than out of habbit going to one of the sites. What I needed to do was remove the root cause. So I wrote this script (https://gist.github.com/steven-p-walsh/9b7c0ffd2fe4817d67459...) it's like a shock-collar for social media.

I've blocked Reddit and HN on my desktop, now I am watching more YouTube, drink 3 times as much coffee and tea and am hyperaware of what's going on outside of my window.

Seems that specific websites aren't the cause, the problem is much deep than that.

This is exactly what happens to me. If I do work that I enjoy, I don't procrastinate. I don't even mind doing the shitty stuff if most of the work is fun, but when I'm not enjoying the majority of my work, I procrastinate... Which is what I'm doing right now.

If the problem is "I can't bring myself to focus on this task", the mediums used to distract yourself are irrelevant.

Agreed, but if that is the root problem, is there a solution?

The solution is to push back on whoever assigned the task to you and what the value of it is, what the end result should look like, etc. If it's worthless effort and busy work, make them understand it. If it's just the boring drudge that makes the better things happen, at least you can be engaged in the end goal.

Discipline is the first answer that comes to mind... but say it out loud and... yeah, it's a non-answer.

I've gotten rid of ever using hacker news from browsers, and now I'm typing in a vim buffer from w3m to reply to you. At least I'm not leaving my development environment...

YouTube was tricky for me too. Because so many tutorials are on youtube it’s hard to ban it. And you watch one it’s no longer blocked at least on that tab. Get “distract free tube” or something like that on chrome/Firefox. It gets rid of the side bar, trending, suggestions etc. basically everything but the video.

It doesn’t solve the deeper problem but it turns a time suck website into a productive one.

I have that too. I have a small suggestion. It doesn't solve the problem, but it makes it slightly more bearable.

Find the least damaging form of procrastination and use that. For me these are:

1. Reading fiction books (currently reading "The Humans")

2. Exercise

3. Hacker News

In that order (I'm protecting myself against YouTube which is way worse than HN).

HN also has noprocrast, max visit, and min away, that are designed to help you break that addiction.

If you are a procrastinator, I can't recommend The Now Habit enough. It's totally changed my life.

Dunno if people find this useful, but there's a program called cold turkey that blocks certain sites that you can specify for a period of time that you also specify.

I think it only supports Windows and macOS though. https://getcoldturkey.com/

I put up something like this here https://github.com/rajaravivarma-r/focus-dns. You can give this a try.

This uses the scapy module, so it's only for Linux and other unixes. Is there a scapy equivalent you know of for macOS?

I believe so, but yes... this script was a one off I wrote just for myself as a proof of concept. Not really cross platform yet :D

Python2? Is this script that old?

Pics or it didn't happen

Sorry, thought it was obvious from the script. It's not an actual shock collar... I play a loud high frequency beep. It's "shocking" to me :\

Redirects to "Whoops, it failed." error message.

Same here. I'm using Chrome on Windows 10. Well, at least it fails fast and clear.

Same here. I enjoyed the irony more than I would have enjoyed the break though.


another - Whoops, it failed.

They should at least change it to, “Whoops, it failed. Now get back to work, clickboy!”

Optimal time for breaks vary. You should figure it out yourself. When it comes to productivity it's 52 minutes work time vs 17 minutes break[1]. There is also 'pomodoro technique'[2]. There is also kind of interesting work (which can be extended to topic of procrastination) done by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi [3], namely - idea of 'Flow'.

From personal perspective I would say to also look at how do you eat, sleep, spend your free time and take any substances (alcohol, drugs, cigarettes...). Even if this is not an ongoing thing but occasional it has tremendous effect on ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Excessive carbon based (or worse, sugar based) diet can make you hyperactive (same as excessive fat based diet can make you dull btw). Again, that's a personal perspective.

As last resort, there are some supplements which could help you with concentration, not pharmaceuticals, there are a lot of natural nootropics[4] you can get anywhere.

Bottom line, if you waste time on Internet - just stop. There is no other way. Blocking websites can help, but in the end, you need to choose not to visit those. It's addiction as any other. And don't treat this post as advice, everybody needs to figure it out himself.

[1]https://lifehacker.com/52-minute-work-17-minute-break-is-the... [2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique [3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihaly_Csikszentmihalyi [4]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic#Herbs

I love the idea! Gives us the false promise of Procrastination and gives us a failure to train our brains slowly against Procrastination. Brilliant!

Jokes aside. Excited to see what it will show when it is back up :)

Even better, leave your phone and computer behind and go take a walk!

i've solved a couple of sticky problems by giving up, shutting the computer, and taking the dogs for a long walk hah.

When I hit the "Whoops, failed" screen, I pressed F5 to refresh the page and it started working. It tells you to turn off all devices and give yourself this 5 minutes to really put everything aside, then shows a series of nice nature scenes fullscreen.

First though, I did View Source and spent about 5 minutes trying to figure it out, thinking I should really learn some more JavaScript! Great break, now I'm ready to get back to things I need to do!

Maybe I just hit it at a lucky moment before, now it's failing again. Probably getting hugged to death.

did we(HN) break this :|

Failed to load resource: the server responded with a status of 500 (Internal Server Error)

Api.js:4 GET https://b45-backend.herokuapp.com/images 500 (Internal Server Error) value @ Api.js:4 value @ Break.js:39 value @ Break.js:35 $a @ react-dom.production.min.js:4978 Va @ react-dom.production.min.js:5123 (anonymous) @ react-dom.production.min.js:5975 t.unstable_runWithPriority @ scheduler.production.min.js:274 Nl @ react-dom.production.min.js:5974 Il @ react-dom.production.min.js:5958 Pl @ react-dom.production.min.js:5925 Ml @ react-dom.production.min.js:6020 _n @ react-dom.production.min.js:1737

Unreadable on mobile - even if it's only meant for desktops you need people on mobile to easily read what it's about. I also just see the "whoops" message.

Whoops, it failed. -- My procrastination succeeded though

JS Console errors for me.

>>> Uncaught TypeError: Cannot read property 'src' of undefined at t.value (Break.js:92)

I think this is a neat idea. I would love it if you made this into one of those scary image popping up and loud screaming audio pranks. Three and a half minutes in everyone would be pretty sold on just relaxing. The perfect targets.

Unfortunately the pictures seem to be intentionally cropped to be low-quality with apparent JPEG artifacts. Originals look great. Granted my screen is 2560x1440, so it's more apparent, but still.

Has anyone tried Focus Mate https://www.focusmate.com/

Heh, this reminds me of the start of Portal 2 where you look at a scenic photo for exactly 10 seconds as recreation time.

Seems interesting but the website won't load for me Firefox, Brave, Edge all fail.

This is wonderful and works well with traditional Pomodoro.

Thank you for sharing.

Whoops, it failed.

Sounds like an interesting idea though.

Getting "whoops it failed" on all browsers. Might be a new level of "hit-the-monkey" annoying!

Another whoops in here!

whoops failed on Chrome / Win 10

nice idea though

Whoops, it failed.

the page only says

"Whoops, it failed."

Whoops failed

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