When Next Online

Note to my future self…

Today I started a short experiment as part of my larger effort to eliminate distractions. The experiment is quite simple. It’s a list that I keep on my notes app of things that I want to do the next time I am online. By this I mean, the next time I have access to YouTube, Twitter, Email, etc. I am in my computer pretty much +90% my working hours. However, I have been using a service called Freedom to help me block sites that can be distracting.

I’ve already being doing something like this for YouTube but I am now extending it to others all other sites. My hope is that this experiment can help me be more intentional about how I spend my time online. It’s a shame that we have so many distractions but I feel that I have to do this in order to what matters the most to me.

This experiment is also part of a broader effort to add friction to behaviors that I want to reduce. If I have to write down every single thing I want to do when I am online it makes me think twice about whether I really want to watch that video on “10


If this experiment fails, I think it will be for one or both of these reasons:

  1. Self-Monitored: No one is policing me so I have to make sure I am honest with myself about this.
  2. Threat to Serendipity: By limiting the process of discovery I might miss a really cool video/article that changes the way I think about X, Y, Z.

Pre-emptive responses

My response to this is:

  1. All of my experiments are self-monitored. If I really care about my time, I will stick to it.
  2. This is BS. It’s a way for my brain to seek quick dopamine hits. For that I have Twitter. If I feel that a video can lead me to something else I will look for it. Yes, I will miss some things that YT recommends but this doesn’t take into account the opportunity cost of all the hours I spend watching YT. Imagine all the things I could do with that time(:

That’s it for now. I will report back with any updates.

Now back to work…