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Morgan- 11-15-2010 01:23 PM

Perhaps Linux can help me stop procrastinating!! :)
 
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Hi folks,

I'm a terrible procrastinator, it's awe-inspiring annoying and stressful. This in combination with being a information-holic makes the Internet fairly lethal to me; I risk failing my college course because of it, so trust me when I say I'm deadly serious about this.

However, I think you guys may be able to help out, and maybe this will also help some people here with similar problems:

Because so much of my time is taken up with Interwebz, I thought to carefully restrict my internet use. It's not prefect, but it's part of a solution.

To date: I have Firefox and the ProCon extension which uses a whitelist of websites I can access. The extension cannot be uninstalled/disabled and I use a long hex password split into 3 parts, two of which my friends have (so I have to ask my friends for the password parts in order to update the whitelist, hence making it socially awkward to fritter away time online).

So far, it has worked a treat and I'm really pleased with it.

However, this is the problem:

I need to restrict web access so *only* Firefox can access the web.
That way I cannot use Chrome/Opera, or even (shudder) use wine to run Internet Exploder.

Any ideas folks? :)

btw: I'm on OpenSuse 11.3

salasi 11-15-2010 01:42 PM

Quote:

Perhaps Linux can help me stop procrastinating!! :)
...maybe it can, maybe it can't...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morgan- (Post 4159703)
I'm a terrible procrastinator,

Maybe you'll get better at it, once you get more practice.

Quote:

it's awe-inspiring annoying and stressful. This in combination with being a information-holic makes the Internet fairly lethal to me;
tbh, I have little faith in technical measures restricting internet access solving your problem. Firstly, any measures that you put in place yourself, you'll be able to remove, if you are really, really determined.

More importantly, I think that you have to be more goal-orientated with your actual work. You know, plans, to-do lists, schedules and that sort of thing. maybe, once you have hit your targets for the day, you can indulge yourself in a bit of information-a-hol, but not before.

If you do go down this road, don't feel tempted to try to cheat yourself; if the deal is for seven hours work, you get 1 hour indulgence, that's what you get (assuming its all in the plan and the plan is workable). Any attempt to cheat yourself and you will eventually break the deal.

Quote:

...So far, it has worked a treat and I'm really pleased with it.

However, this is the problem:

I need to restrict web access so *only* Firefox can access the web.
That way I cannot use Chrome/Opera, or even (shudder) use wine to run Internet Exploder.

Any ideas folks? :)
Don't install them? perhaps have a user with limited powers who can only do the minimal stuff, and give your friends the elements of the root password as you do now.

Morgan- 11-15-2010 02:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salasi (Post 4159718)
...maybe it can, maybe it can't...



Maybe you'll get better at it, once you get more practice.



tbh, I have little faith in technical measures restricting internet access solving your problem. Firstly, any measures that you put in place yourself, you'll be able to remove, if you are really, really determined.

More importantly, I think that you have to be more goal-orientated with your actual work. You know, plans, to-do lists, schedules and that sort of thing. maybe, once you have hit your targets for the day, you can indulge yourself in a bit of information-a-hol, but not before.

If you do go down this road, don't feel tempted to try to cheat yourself; if the deal is for seven hours work, you get 1 hour indulgence, that's what you get (assuming its all in the plan and the plan is workable). Any attempt to cheat yourself and you will eventually break the deal.



Don't install them? perhaps have a user with limited powers who can only do the minimal stuff, and give your friends the elements of the root password as you do now.

Ugh, I hope I don't get better at it!! :S

I realize of course that it's possible to undo any restriction that is technical, but the point is that I have to expend a lot more effort in doing so. I've caught myself opening a browser almost via reflex, so it stops that kind of behavior.

I agree willpower is a necessary part of the solution, but I don't know if I can get that from the Linux questions forum ;-)

I think of this as being similar to the way smokers try to avoid the company of other smokers out for a fag, or avoiding associations with smoking in general. It doesn't really stop the problem, but it likely prevents a relapse of dozens of hours of wasted time.

As for being goal oriented, no fear, I'm very proactive that way, helluva an expert 'planner', I have to-do lists for my to-do lists!! The problem is doing them...

Lastly, I'm not a causal user of a computer, I'm a computer science student, and I find I regularly need superuser access, and so unfortunately your suggest of breaking up the root password won't work for me (but it was a good idea nevertheless).


Is there any way of blocking Port 80 so that Mozilla Firefox has exclusive access to it?

salasi 11-15-2010 02:51 PM

What about a different approach and using apparmor (or selinux) to make other browsers unworkable?

Quote:

Ugh, I hope I don't get better at it!!
Well, yes, it was intended to be humorous, but there is a serious point. I'm sure that the right degree of procrastination is a part of my success (such as it is). This kind of procrastination is known as research, and the number of times I've got myself into a tricky situation and found that the 'idle research, done while procrastinating on another subject' has got me out of the hole. You can clearly do too much of it, but you can do too little, too.

eveningsky339 11-16-2010 06:01 AM

Overcoming procrastination is about self-discipline. Linux is awesome, but it's not going to serve as your moral compass.

Unplug your internet modem when you need to get work done. You may want to leave it unplugged for a few days anyway, if you want to address the informationholic problem.

Morgan- 11-16-2010 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salasi (Post 4159805)
What about a different approach and using apparmor (or selinux) to make other browsers unworkable?



Well, yes, it was intended to be humorous, but there is a serious point. I'm sure that the right degree of procrastination is a part of my success (such as it is). This kind of procrastination is known as research, and the number of times I've got myself into a tricky situation and found that the 'idle research, done while procrastinating on another subject' has got me out of the hole. You can clearly do too much of it, but you can do too little, too.

I tried to use apparmor, but it depends on filepaths to work, which is a bit of a pain. In the end I deleted chrome's repository and uninstalled it, so it is now inaccessible.

The other browsers however are part of the general repository for opensuse, so I can't (I think) delete part of it. I'm not sure if I install all the other browsers, and then use apparmor to lock them, will that continue to work if I then uninstall the browsers and reinstall them again. I'm going to try that, and then I'll get back to you.

Agree with you on 'not-too-much' / 'not-too-little' procrastination wise, I was investigating investment when I should have been learning something else, and I wound up making a great deal of money (and a lot lot more in the long run since I learned this stuff at 21-22) out of it last year. But for procrastination I don't think I'd have ever ventured into finance!! (and it's mind numbingly boring for 99% of people). Clearly we don't always procrastinate on the same things, it depends on the person. One of my student friends is terrible at cleaning up after himself, but an excellent student, whereas I'm the opposite at the moment.

Morgan- 11-16-2010 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eveningsky339 (Post 4160569)
Overcoming procrastination is about self-discipline. Linux is awesome, but it's not going to serve as your moral compass.

Unplug your internet modem when you need to get work done. You may want to leave it unplugged for a few days anyway, if you want to address the informationholic problem.


I'm aware of that eveningsky, but I actually really do need the web to do my work, hence the dilemma.

Let us say, that solving this 'human bug' is going to take:

90% -- willpower & discipline
10% -- little technical tricks like the one I'm trying to accomplish.

The 10% is the easy part to accomplish, it's not much, but as Tesco (English supermarket) says, every little helps! :D


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