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Don't Worry About Your Productivity, Worry About You (hevenet.com)
61 points by Nathanael on Oct 21, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments

For good or bad, I can't express how much of changed person I'm due to Hacker News. It has taught me to question dogma wherever I can, that has given me a better understanding of how the world works, in other words, getting the birds eye view seat of the world.

So, at my current standing, procrastination is good.

Or quite simply, as they say "too much of everything is bad" applies to procrastination and everything in general.

I like that angle! My personal rule of thumb is that when I know a community well enough to predict what the contents of a given comment thread will be, then I've learned most of what I can from my experience there.

Anyone that blogs about giving up the Internet is doomed to failure and will realize the stupidity of it soon enough. Life isn't about productivity, these days being cut off from the Internet is to alienate contemporary society, there's nothing inherently better about reading books than hackernews. There is a place for both.

Whenever I read about someone that beleives that extreme and drastic measures are required it nearly always points to other more subtle issues that the escapism is happily providing distraction from.

This is just attention seeking.

> This is just attention seeking.

Your comment, or the OP?

People are welcome to try whatever they like to make themselves happier, and I'm glad people are happy to share their experience with the world.

You seem to have a bunch of predetermined ideas on what life is about. And that's great. But don't preach them like they are universal truth:

"Life isn't about productivity" to you

"..these days being cut off from the Internet is to alienate contemporary society..." for you

"There is a place for both." for you

     "..these days being cut off from the Internet is to alienate contemporary society..." for you
actually, GP's statement is true for most people "in the west", adding "for you" is just silly..

A bit silly... except you replaced it with another qualification that essentially says the same thing.

- Most people don't live "in the west".

- Thus universal truths, better apply to them too!

Some context is implied in all communication. Most people who read HN do, and more to the point, they have an Internet connection and loosing that would alienate them from contemporary society.

You are projecting.

How to make productive use of your time: get something out of what you read other than enjoyment.

For example, I begun keeping a summary on substantive link so that I build up a list of citations and information that I can use to write essays. I want to make it a habit that I will do this once a day, but it's not the time for adding yet another habit to my list of ever growing habits. (I add a new habit about every 21 days)

He's right that filling every spare moment with compulsive news-checking and fast content consumption is distracting and stressful, but there's no reason he can't apply focus and deliberation to his surfing habits just like he did for other areas of his life. Indulge in the things you enjoy, and when you feel them becoming compulsive, cut back. For me, ditching the web would have a profoundly alienating effect on my psyche.

If the cut-off from reddit and hacker news works for the op, then good. But as a general advice it sucks. Reddit and hacker news are both useful and fun. Why get rid of it? The trick is to balance things out, not swinging the axe.

I used to have the Gmail and facebook plugin for chrome. Once I removed them I was a lot more focused. Before as soon as a notification came through I'd check it. Now I only check them a couple of times a day.

These things you speak of are tools, and yes in excess they can hinder more than help.

There's something to be said about staying connected, and giving your mind mental breaks now and again.

The key is moderation.

I have also been trying to slow down and it has had a profound effect on my overal performance and happiness. I think cutting out youtube and hacker news is a bit much though.

Cutting them out completely might be a little much. Limiting them is a great idea to be productive is a good idea though.

HN has perhaps had the least impact on my productivity of any site I've been addicted to. HN's procrast setting makes the addiction quite manageable in fact. If you set the timeout to integer hours between 5 minute blocks lost productivity is minimized.

What I find is I'll open ~5 comment sections, read, then leave for 2 hours. By the time I get back a significant portion of links have been replaced. Rinse and repeat. The key mechanism is the timeout forces me to break out of zombie reading and refocus on programming.

I would encourage anyone with a self-diagnosed HN addiction to turn on procrast.

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