It's sad to admit I do this, but the only way I've found myself to make a clear barrier is by having a physical barrier. I've tried shortcuts, VPNs, mindfulness apps, etc. Nothing really sticks if it's on the phone itself.
On-top of that, having to give each device a job has worked wonders as well. My phone is my personal/entertainment device. I don't need it majority of the time if at all. My computer on the other hand is my work device where I do the things I should be doing instead of endlessly scrolling (coding, writing, etc).
Screentime on macOS can show you how many times you pick up your phone and it makes me quite sad to see the numbers before doing any of this. There are other apps that count how many times you open a specific app like https://apps.apple.com/us/app/one-sec-take-a-deep-breath/id1... which reveals the same thing on an app basis.
It's been bliss. I've been considering getting a landline and chucking this thing out the window as it is useless for me. After about 3 months I unlearned my old behaviour and can barely remember what I used to do on this thing 3+ hours a day.
I haven’t tried the new "do not disturb" improvements in iOS 15 so maybe there’s something interesting there.
Edit: I just tried with the "at work" setting that allows you to disable notification badges and other things during work hours; let’s see how it goes.
If only I can have DND on 24/7 and not have the home notif about it that would be golden.
I started pruning the notifications that I allow quite aggressively because of it, but it's still a very regular issue.
Although I think it can go off the rails a bit sometimes, one of the most promising aspects of medical research and science in the last 20 years has been a recognition of how our brains work differently, and how much of our behavior is largely out of our control.
And from that comes a wonderfully freeing idea. Specifically, that what works for one person is not going to work for everyone. It’s a blessing to find what works for you (even if it’s “abnormal”), and to have the courage to do what’s best for you.
For those with poor executive functioning, or ADHD, I can really recommend the podcast "Hacking your ADHD": https://www.hackingyouradhd.com/podcast
Ironically, it's less focused on "productivity hacks", but rather a functional self-understanding why we "fuck up" and how to manage our limited brain resources and most importantly: Anticipation of willpower depletion/different moods and mindsets.
Personally, I thing the typical "productivity hacks" blog posts shared here, are quite toxic, as they rarely speak about resources, resting and regeneration, or ask why work anyway? Especially coming from the US, where people work much longer, have less time off. There is a flair of normalizing self-exploitation and walking a path towards burn-out and sickness, and I don't even think most of those blog post are authentic, long term success stories - just farming clicks and subscribers for the attention market. They are much like Instagram distorting self-expectations.
The ADHD community is a parody of the HN crowd in that regard, people share new "super effective" tricks and routines enthusiastically all the time. Finally we found the solution! But sober us knows these tricks will not stick for more than a week or two - and really, we shouldn't be online right now to begin with. The thing is, that improving daily task management is not to be thought of as a project, but am ongoing maintenance process. So in that community, there is also the sentiment of changing "routines" all the time, to keep them interesting and challenging.
So maybe, you even need come up with a new scheme every day. That's fine too. In any case, I dare you to not forget to evaluate your need for regeneration, day dreaming, sleep and pleasure, and anticipate different moods and mindsets you know will be present.
sounds a bit like https://reddit.com/r/thanksimcured
The thing with ADHD folks is, we constantly seek stimulation/neuronal excitement, so if we manage to do anything, we somehow tricked our brain into enthusiasm, or hit another strong motivator like anxiety, or shame. And working out productivity "hacks" itself is usually some spin-off from a much more pressing task, or self-entertainment. Everything feels super important and like the best idea ever; enthusiasm is the only way.
So naturally, we tend to share tricks and "habits" before they have proven effective - they just felt really important... - as they have not been tested against the boredom of every day. And not everyone in that community is self-meta yet, sees the patterns and gets a bit wary in face of those "good ideas".
Honestly, I think everyone can learn something from ADHD behavior, as we're just the essence of executive dysfunction and impulsivity, the deconstruction of "motivation" (egosyntonic task scheduling) and actionable impulse (actually switching tasks), the deep end of a spectrum. Usually people can relate to our problems, they are just not problems in their lives as much.
To start somewhere (going by title here), maybe try those episodes about gotchas and pitfalls (lol, they kind of all are about that, regardless of title; the author knows, we tried all the "hacks" already...), about energy management, "Waiting for Inspiration", or the fresh start ones. I think I also liked the "Five Frameworks to Build Powerful Goals", but that one doesn't really demonstrate what I like about the podcast.
Hope there is something for you too <3
Edit on my original post: Jeez. Sorry for grammar and typos. I thing... I was still very tired. Awful.
1. forgiveness - forgive yourself for not being perfect
2. "do I really have this things". It's good to know I'm not the only one struggling with this.
I'll keep on listening, thanks again for the link.
I experience this when trying to read lenghty text on e-ink devices vs. a computer screen or phone. On the other hand, a kindle or remarkable don't give me as many options to distract myself so a more versatile device might still distract me even with e-ink.
Time will tell but for now it subjectively feels like the light emission (any color) has a very adverse effect on me, unless distraction is what I'm looking for :(
I doubt it. I see the same kind of distraction in myself, and it's not triggered on any e-ink reader, whether lit or not. So it seems to be related to functionality indeed.
Important point is that I've never used a web browser on any reader.
I keep asking about this since I see it repeatedly remarked on here. Please see my comment history. It doesn't appear to be true. My understanding is that it is about volume, as with almost everything display related.
I think turning it into a "reward" for getting things done puts the addiction in a different light, and at least for me, it has made it easier to respect the barriers I have put into place.
So instead of "no apps allowed!" it is now "hey, do these good habits, and once your done you can have the apps" creates.. (idk I'm not a psychologist or anything), but a more genial approach to limiting the addiction and it feels more effective as a result.
1. Kindle next to bed for reading (leave phone out of reach/in another room to charge helps)
2. Good book on back of toilet and no phone allowed in there. Helps start the day with a small piece of learning.
I started #2 (sorry) when I was struggling to finish Seeking Wisdom and figured reading 5 mins a day would get me through. Took 3 months but it worked and turned out to be the perfect place to digest dense content like it.
But I’m worried I’m trying to fix the problem with more technology.
Anyone try this out?
I try and leave the phone in the front entrance. After that, I can still be “connected” with the watch. Messages from my wife, emails if I need to check them and of course phone calls. Lie others have said, I think the key is physically removing the phone.
Ideally I'd like to get rid of my phone altogether but is hard to live without some things like Uber and email. Has anyone managed this? Work requires Authenticator assumes everyone has a phone too.
I see a similar problem with Twitter/TikTok/etc addiction. Only with them the issue is, the more you give from yourself to the platform the more you are addicted to it. I'm not addicted to Twitter, for instance. I follow 70-80 folks and am followed as similar but every time I post something I feel the need/urgency (such as nicotine withdrawal) to follow up, either to check the likes or the replies or whatever. Our brains are so dumb and our egos are so fragile keeping the distance becomes a challenge of its own.
I don't recommend anything. Just keep your minds free.
I used to use Twitter a lot. I "took a break" last February that's still going strong, so I don't think my brain is "lying" too powerfully. There was real value in Twitter for a long time in my case, and I learned a lot there. I object to this framing.
It's good stuff and is a great tool.
Nicotine is involved in neurochemical circuits. Intake (it doesn’t have to be smoking) boosts focus and learning rate.
I think the best is to fully recognize and understand the addiction, and then try to eradicate the root cause.
Essentially, [Spoilers] the more the hedonistic protagonist gives into his desires, the more a physical image of him becomes grotesque. I always imagine this when trying to beat my own bad habits.
I honestly can't imagine what the feed looks like if you follow 1k people plus. It has to be nonsense at the millisecond level. The signal to noise just scales so badly. There just isn't that much interesting things going on in real time.
This is a cool idea but I am going for a walk right now and listening to an audio book. I am really looking forward to the walk and the book. A tail to keep the flies away I am sure is nice but to me it is just better to delete the flies completely. My walks are the most peaceful part of the day for me. There is no motivation needed if you get rid of the overexcited storm of nonsense from Twitter.
It's because you quit before the reward cycle kicked in. The idea behind the scrolling timeline is that you keep scrolling until you find something that interests you (similar to a slot machine). With that reward you continue scrolling and rinse and repeat for the next item of interest.
To me loosing at the slot roll is actually fairly annoying. When I win, it is not a feeling of reward, but disappointment at myself. Infact, all games if chance really get under my skin.
But I can doom scroll Reddit for hours. The big difference is that most posts have some reward, and a few posts have a big reward. But I don't feel like I'm wadding though mountains of garbage.
I imagine this is why TikTok is also doing so well. Most of the videos are at least somewhat interesting. However I uninstall it quickly because of how dumb the content is as well.
Twitter may have some golden nuggets, but panning for them is more painful then the reward.
It really has nothing to do with content at the end of the day.
- Use a third party client that isn't a trash fire. I use Tweetbot.
- Aggressively block retweets from individuals, which is supported by the API, so it persists accross clients.
That and the gifs...oh, the endless, repetitive, gif-only replies...
When I was quitting some vices, just interrupting the automatic Bored->browsing transition was enough to get me to make other choices
I only access HN from my mobile now, which I put out of reach when working.
It depends on what you mean. Do you mean some sort of mechanism on the ISP's account page that lets you delay certain sites? IMO that sort of functionality would be better self-hosted, though I'm not sure of any open-source projects offering such functionality at this time.
If you are proposing a mechanism where the user does not have control, no it would not. The whole point of net neutrality is to not slow down certain sites. Even though Ajit Paid fucked that up, I imagine people would not be very happy if an ISP slowed down certain popular websites. I imagine said popular websites would be used to speak out against this too, paradoxically.
I configured screen time in iOS, but it just don't work, I know the code.
I can confirm that screen time doesn’t really work unless a different person controls the code.
But I can understand why. This could be a recipe to break a device.
Yes you can get around it by tapping a button, the intent is more to make you realize that you are checking Twitter, rather than 100% preventing you from checking Twitter.
For example, I have a spreadsheet where I want to log my workouts. I have a shortcut that opens numbers and adds a blank row and that was easy to make. But now I want to add the current date in column A of the new row and I've never been able to figure that one out.
For your shortcut, without knowing the specific step you're stuck at, first get the current date. You'll then want to format the date using the Calender->Format Date block, setting the custom format to what you need based on these rules: https://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime-970915
I don't have Numbers, but maybe figuring out A1 spreadsheet notation might help.
My general tips: use a whiteboard or a notebook to sketch out your pipeline, study other people's Shortcuts to learn new tricks, use the alert and exit blocks to debug stuff and finally, make sure you're coercing/casting data into types that Shortcuts can use (Scripting->Get Type will help).
I suggest reading through tiny habits by bj fogg (who's work is largely influential in this space) and turning it around to protect yourself from any addictive impulses you may have.
For example, I've never used Tiktok in my life. I can't get addicted to it when I don't know what I'm missing. So I've internalized it as "silly teens dancing" and a "Chinese data grab", regardless of whether that is accurate.
This works for me. Clearly, nothing of importance happens on Tiktok, as in the real world I never hear anybody about it. So at best I would be missing out on entertainment, but I don't have a lack of that, I have too much of it.
I do use Twitter, where I also had the excuse to "stay on top of my industry". It's bullshit. Every industry has hundreds of weekly newsletters you can pick from that summarizes anything of significance.
You don't follow these experts for their insights, you're addicted to the timeliness and unpredictability of it.
Twitter is dangerous, it gets you addicted to hate and outrage. Uninstall it and never look back.
Wow, I had never ever opened the Shortcuts app.
But I had heard about IFTT [If This Then Than] which sounds like a similar app.
Is there a website to help us find existing Shortcuts workflows? Or a tutorial to (let's say) put a new reminder in a google calendar automatically?
: my current need, that seems not to be covered by the Reminders app itself :-(
I myself have spent dozens of hours on Shortcuts. Maybe I can help point you in the right direction. What do you want to accomplish?
All I found on YT were either superficial introductions or productivity simps. Neither is what I'm looking for.
The thing that pushed me to learn it was perennial laziness. Anything that I see myself doing repeatedly becomes a target for automation.
To specifically learn Shortcuts, I started by just throwing blocks in and seeing what they did. Another way may be to get other people's Shortcuts and then start rearranging and messing with what they created. It depends on how you learn.
For your specific case, my approach would be to make sure my iOS calendar and Google calendar were linked. You can then use the Calendar->Create Event block, trusting that your iOS calendar will sync itself with Google. The other step, which might intrigue you due to additional technicality, is utilizing the Web->GetContents of URL block to make requests to remote APIs. You could conceivably make requests to the Google Calendar API with that block, and have it trigger on device-specific events.
I've been fighting with bad habits all my life. Sometimes successfully.
The social media addiction is the hardest to fight.
Here is what works for me (not at all times):
1. Remove social apps and only use browser
2. Enable two factor auth and only keep two factor app on your laptop
3. Change password using password generator and don't save it.
With all the above it makes it really hard to log into the social network.
Now when you are done with the social media app, replace it with something useful: I replaced it with Google Books, and now whenever I have an urge I open a book instead and read it. Much better than meaningless scrolling. Alternative app - Google Keep. I use it for writing blog posts.
"Sorry, your heart rate is already too high, no social media for you"
That’s the problem with this solutions for me. If I don’t have the willpower to stop myself from using the phone, what’s preventing me from disabling the nag?
The only thing that’s ever worked for me, and it’s amazing, I highly recommend it and should do more often, is go somewhere where there’s no internet connection. No celular signal, no Wi-Fi. A single weekend can do wonders.
No need for third party app at all!
It’s blocks addictive websites until you’ve finished your to-do list. But crucially, when you try and go on those websites it redirects you back to your to-do list.
It’s a little rough round the edges but it could be useful to anyone suffering with this problem.
Obviously it’s free, no ads, no data collection etc. the Firefox version is having issues at the moment.
If interesting in feedback;
1. It seems to only run the block/reroute to to-do list logic when a page is loaded. If the user is already on their site and then adds that site to the blocked list and has to-do list items, it won't be blocked immediately. I don't think this feature is vital but might align better with expectation.
2. Maybe show the to-do list and blocked sites button on the main extension popup, rather than having to go -> to-do list -> blocked sites
3. Maybe on/off button in case user has some sort of issue and needs to quickly access a site that is blocked.
I think you’re right about the blocking issue. Anything that helps redirect people back to what they really want to do is important. There’s so many little hacks like the one OP came up with that can help, and lots of room for more apps that make these hacks official.
I do watch some Chinese lessons and electronics repair and cooking recipes and finance tips on there as well as the lighter content, though, so it isn't all pure entertainment.
Since the author prefers walking, maybe another option would be to put Twitter and TikTok just on an iPad and mount it to a treadmill.
I used to have a few of my vice sites blocked on the "Hosts" level on windows. Unblocking this had enough friction for my self to not do on a whim, but them we came to the realization that Google Translate (with "Show Original") can be used to get Google to show me the site from the unblocked google domain...
To my shame I actually did that absent-mindedly over and over, and that was the end of that little experiment.
No social media on the phone, period. Also, no notifications from anything that doesn't come directly from a human I know personally, to the extent possible.
Don't worry, you can still waste huge amounts of time on the computer too, like I do. :) Seriously, I'm relatively comfortable with my facebook/twitter use, though even that I need to adjust.
I clear cookies on exit too so I gotta log in every time.
They are there if I need them for something specific or if I'm really truly board enough to open my password safe log in, get the 2fa txt, reset my timeline to chronological . . ..
I found the shear amount of obnoxious notifications that would trick me into opening the app or the low barrier to entry to be more than I wanted. And the WebApps that log out every time do a lot less tracking.
Won't work for everyone but it's been pretty good for me.
Ive also given longer form writing a first class experience, my news papers, Kindle, Patreon, pocket, overdrive have replaced the spots where I had social apps.
Complex solutions or these "digital well-being" things do nothing for me.
Instead, I install as few apps as possible and use the web version instead. My browser regularly flushes the cookies, so I gave to log in for most things and it resets all the recommendations.
To top it off, no charger in the bedroom.
Saying that internet addiction exists (something you won't read about in credible professional journal) is done by for-profit institutes that want you to pay them to talk about and handle "internet addiction". Or by useful ignorants with unrelated incentives.
I get that this guy is just joking around about "addiction" and his approach to dealing with his own motivations seems realistic and useful. But when people start calling something "addiction" and meaning it it inevitably leads to the use of violent force by governments and restriction of freedoms. The "internet" is not addictive and even pretending it is only emboldens the ignorant and malicious.
You're mixing and matching metaphysical claims with prescriptions about how language should be used. When you say "there's no such thing" or "exists" with respect to types of addiction, what exactly are you saying?
Medicalizing that, pretending there's no personal agency like with dopaminergic drugs, will cause more damage than letting people do what they enjoy. Calling things addictions inevitably justifies and leads to legislation that brings in the use of force and coercion to control people's behavior.
I am not a neuroscientist, but might normal stimuli produce similar responses in the brain to chemical ingestion? If that were the case, we would still have a pathology that needs treatment. Despite what we call things, I am confident the addiction model for treatment would still work in many cases.
If the addiction model works to treat certain phenomena called "addictions" under that paradigm, then I am not optimistic that the meaning will ever change. You have your interests, and medicine has theirs.
Natural language is littered with layman's terms that are inconsistent with reality. Some, like "gender" and "race," have meanings that are so incoherent that any real discussion requires 1,000 words of linguistic stage setting. I think with "addiction" the toothpaste is already out of the tube.
Struggling with a 'mild' scrolling addiction myself and this might be a nice middle ground between deleting apps alltogether and not having guard rails.
- Opened on main page or just a subreddit? It's for mindless browsing then! Therefore `window.stop()`
Occasionally, I’ll use HN to break past writer’s block. I’ve noticed that if I can find an interesting thread, where I might have something interesting to add, my brain flips from consumption mode to output mode. I’ve started using this as a calibration mechanism; how inclined I am to reply to a thread I’m interested in tends to be an indicator of where my mind is on the create/consume spectrum.
The difference between my post and ScreenTime is it leverages the brains gravity to the apps as a driving force of good habits.
Also, one small flaw in ScreenTime makes it almost non-effective: it allows bypass with one click. When you've run out of screentime it will do its block, but then it allows you to bypass really quickly. If it simply made you jump through a few more hoops (Go to homescreen, Settings, ScreenTime, App ScreenTime config, bypass for day; for example) to bypass I think it would be respected way more (at least by me, can't speak for others).
I think it will require an extension of the "right to disconnect" policies being made that give the user a choice in how much content they want from each platform.
It's unreasonable to think this is an individual's problem at this point. Maybe in the early 2000s. Tech is designed to be addictive for many reasons (social, behavior, etc) and those creating the tech need to take drastic action.
Instead of OKRs that increase screen time, ad revenue, etc. Maybe they should have goals to cut individual's time on a screen for the good of humanity rather than shareholders.
 Behaviour of Users Modified and Made into an Empire for Rent (https://www.amazon.com/Arguments-Deleting-Social-Media-Accou...)