Well, as many people here, I spend much time with my computer.

But now, for a period of time, I have other things to do and computer is just distracting me.

I turn it off and turn it on again. I go and come back. I go and don't come back, but I think of it :)

I know this may be very stupid question, but still I am interested in methods and things you do (in general) to stay away from this menace.


get a girl friend


The only method i used to stay away is to go to holiday without laptop :)


Don't play PC video games.

I swear, other than my full time job, it is the single biggest cause of time-suckage I've ever had. But I'm not addicted to them :-)


I go backpacking. Even the lightest laptop is WAY to heavy to take along. Also, they work poorly in the rain or when dropped in a creek. Problem solved!


Turn it off when you're "done."

Because it's too easy, when a computer is already on, to sit back down in front of it. When it's off, you'll have to wait for it to boot. Subconsciously, you'll know that, and you'll be able to walk by it on your way to getting things done in your non-computer life.


Get an iron, like the one I have.

It has an electrical fault, so whenever I have some ironing to do, it trips the goddamn circuit breaker, and the electrics all go off.

So my recommendation is:

Cotton, not nylon.


Don't install Command & Conquor.


Don't worry about it. Sometimes over the years you'll find you're spending more time around the machines, and sometimes as life throws other things in your direction like family, friends, relationships, marriage, kids and even hobbies, you'll find you're spending less.

The best thing to do is to realize that a balance is best, and you shouldn't neglect any of the non-technical things in your life (see above list) for the technical ones. Both are good and worth pursuing. But if you've got the time to indulge a wee bit of fiddling ...



Suggesting to not have a computer at home at all is probably not going to work, because you have got to have your personal email etc.

I have always tried to use a different "home" computer compared to the one I use at "work". For example, if you use some sort of Windows at work, use Linux or Mac at home. Or, if you use Linux at work, then use FreeBSD at home.

Home is different from Work. So should your computer be. This way you don't fall into the trap of taking your work home.


Start using IE 6 for web browsing again.

It'll keep your computer usage to a minimum. Only really necessary stuff. Guaranteed.


Sell it, and only use the one in your office. If you are working out of your home you will only beat this menace by pure willpower. It might help to make a dedicated office room and close the door when you're not working.


Something that helps me a little is that at home I have a laptop, and when I don't want to use it I just close the lid (I don't like turning it off), so when I walk past it I don't feel tempted to move the mouse to see what's new on the screen.

Otherwise, pure willpower :)


Send all your network-cables or another important part of the computer to your some relative/friend you won't meet within the next month. Without internet computers isn't as fun anymore :/


My colleague just had went through this ... so he brought his personal laptop into the office and threw it into his filing cabinet.


Find another thing to do. I started doing photography stuff a while back and it's definitely diverting my attention. Gives me an excuse to go walking too.


Since I use linux; i have a little cron job that prompts me when it is time to go to sleep. 5 minutes later it shuts down automatically. Here is my article about it.

Also, I now use the tool workrave (install with sudo apt-get install workrave). This is a highly configurable applet for the gnome taskbar to "Assist in the prevention and recovery of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)". It also works quite good at reminding you to get away from the computer.

  1. Definitely take vacations when you can - and do not take a computer with you.

  2. Find a non-computer oriented hobby which gets you out of the house. Like hiking, biking, golf, basketball, soccer, skiing...

  3. Don't buy videogames. I learned this longer ago than I care to say.

  4. Ask Jeff Atwood to block your IP address so you cannot access SO.


Leave the house! Put your mind somewhere else.


Just don't have a computer at home. Go to work, use the computer there, stay long if you have to. But go home at night and know there is no computer.


Just avoid instant messenger applications and multiplayer online games.

I just quit playing OGame and uninstalled my MSN. Now I'm alright and I spend my time with more valuable things.


Turn it off and put it away. Make it slightly more difficult to just "turn back on to check a few things".

As a kid growing up I always had a few computers in my bedroom. I would get so wrapped up in learning programming or playing games on them that it would reach a point where something inside me said "I have to take a break". And by a break I mean... I would completely disconnect everything, pack it all up and put it away in the closet for a few days. I would get out and do other things, get a full night's sleep and feel refreshed again, before setting them all back up again.

It's funny to think how much more reliant we are now. Not to mention my phone is a computer I can't really go a few days without using it.

But my point to this story is, force yourself to take a break and ignore whatever it is you feel is so important, you might find you're happy to get away from it for a bit, and you'll enjoy it more after a break.

Or go away for a weekend. A change of surroundings is always good too. Leave all your electronics behind.


Pickup a hobby that involves leaving the house and doesn't have anything to do with computers. Surfing, golf, and skateboarding do it for me.

If you're still hungry for computer related information find some books on topics you're interested in and take a break outside to read. It even works for me by simply going to another room in the house to read. I typically transition from computer to bed this way.


Get rid of the internet. As long as you have internet in your home, you will use your computer. Shut off the internet and you will start doing other things such as reading, going outside, etc.

You can also try getting rid of your computer, but in my experience I don't use my computer if I don't have an internet connection.


Become a triathlete. You won't have time for anything else then.

(No affiliation with the site, it was the first out of Google's list.)


Get a laptop. Something you can close and put away from your desk. On the other hand this can potentialy backfire and you will end up having a computer everywhere you go.

Get hobbies away from your computer, the further away the better.

Maybe the problem is not the computer itself. Maybe you are just reluctant to do what you have to for whatever reason. New hobbies / time wasters will not fix this.

What I do to use the computer efficently is to have a different user where i have no direct access to my games, webpages, etc, you can even block webpages in this new user. This is still an exercise of will, but requires less will than having work and leisure apps/webs together.


Do you see the little "x" button at the top right of the window you're looking at right now? Start by pressing that.