Sunday, March 25, 2012

How to fight Internet ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

You know you have it – every nerd does – the tickling sensation in the left hand to press Alt+Tab or Cmd+Tab to switch apps, Internet browser tabs or windows, to go from your email to Firefox, Instant Messenger, Twitter, your current work and back to Firefox.

No matter what you do, it seems like nothing is important enough to prevent you from writing a brief IM message to your best bud about what the latest joke your office mates have just sent you by email.

Nothing is too important that can’t wait till after you play a quick online flash game or read another blog post while your boss is out of the room.

Internet Attention Deficit Disorder is the productivity killer affecting most office workers today

the stringent urge to “browse just a little more” in between your daily work tasks; to peek at the Digg homepage, check out the hottest YouTube video of the day, skim through your blog feeds reading what happened in the last hour, to jump eagerly whenever Outlook or alert you of new mail and interrupt all activity when you get via IM a link to a funny picture.

Sure, GTD, Zen To Done and most other productivity methods try to help you manage your priorities better and ignore the insignificant. But how could you ever do this if there’s always “one more” blog post to read, “one more” IM to answer, “one more” twitter status to check out?

Enter our brief list of tips to detect, manage, contain and even cure the Internet ADD. Here on Zen Habits you’ve read plenty of tips on how to focus on the most important tasks of the day and ignore the trivial things. But now we’ll look at tips to do that, aimed specifically at the Internet ADD:

Detect your timewasters! Time online is spent in many ways you are probably not aware of. You need to monitor your browsing habits and discover your time wasters – know thy enemy.
Track your software usage – there are quite a few shareware programs, but the best tool I found so far the job is time snapper for Windows – the pro version is a bit expensive but gives you nice reports on what apps you use most, saves screenshots of your desktop, and even comes with a “productivity calculator”. It is available for free in a trial version so you can track your computer-usage habits without paying anything. The freeware version is extremely useful as well, though it doesn’t have the nice reports. I don’t know of anything similar for Apple, so give us a sign if you do…
If the previous app doesn’t do much for you, you can still learn for free how much time of the day you use Firefox. Track it with this nifty extension – It doesn’t do much, just counts the seconds the Firefox window has the focus. Simple yet scary once you see the results.
For a more detailed view of your main Internet time wasters, a Firefox extension developed by two neuroscientists with an interest in compulsive internet behavior comes to the rescue – Page Addict records your visited websites and displays online reports & charts. You can also group the sites by tags/the domain of interest – blogs, email, news, work, search, to get a more broad view of where your daily time goes.

Let’s say we discovered what the main online time wasters are. You were shocked, just like me, at the amount of involuntary time you spend daily, just browsing around. What can you do?

First of all, remember, the Internet is a tool. A useful one, but a tool nonetheless. Whenever you feel crowded by the new blog posts alerts, the instant messages or email in your inbox, do what you’d do with any other annoying tool. Take control. Ignore it. Let it wait.
Offline Day. Try to cure your Internet Addiction by having, at least once a month, a “completely offline” day. From the time you wake up till the time you go to sleep, avoid any contact with the Internet. No PDA, no email, no IM, no blogs.
Offline Hours. During work, institute an “offline hour” habit, the time when you Get Work Done. Just go to Control Panel / Network (on Windows) or System Preferences / Network and click “Disable/Disconnect”. Warning, the first time it might feel weird. This is the time you do your offline work – write memos, write code, etc. If you really NEED to get stuff from the Internet, write it down and move to the next item on your to-do list. No matter what, only go back online after the hour has passed. You’ll be surprised how much stuff you can get done with a bit of volunteer offline time.
Internet Browsing. The Firefox extension mentioned above, Page Addict, offers the perfect solution to limit the time you waste browsing the web – for each group of websites you defined using tags, you can specify the number of minutes you allow yourself to spend daily. Once you reach the daily limit on the group, you’ll be met with the message get back to work! page access blocked by pageaddict. What else can we say, but … brilliant!
No Twitter @ work. Nothing is more annoying than an SMS cutting into your flow. While it’s nice to learn that your friend’s cat has just been washed, it’s nothing you want to learn while doing your job. Go to your Twitter settings page and tell it not to notify you during your work hours.

Discreet Instant Messaging. IM gets more and more used in many people’s jobs, whether they are freelancers or corporate employees. If you can’t live without it, try to at least contain the damage:
Separate accounts for home/work. It seems so hard to have separate IM accounts, but it’s worth it: no more “wazzaa dude, we got soo wasted last night” messages coming from your college buddy in the exact moment your boss was looking over your shoulder, and no more “did you finish the TPS reports?” messages coming in the middle of a peaceful Saturday family dinner.
Go invisible! Hate the time you waste chatting with your IM buddies? Most IM programs allow you to go “invisible” – you’ll still be online and can receive messages from people who really want to contact you.
Disable sound alerts and popups. You’re much too familiar with it – you were just getting “in the flow”, really focusing on the job and starting to get things done, when an IM window pops up with a buzz and interrupts you. First thing you should do when installing an IM program is to disable the alert notifications – sure they seem useful, but they aren’t. No popups, no Growl notifications. Instant Messaging should be called this way because it ALLOWS you to answer immediately, not because it FORCES you to.
Reduce email interruption. I’m stating the obvious here – just like for IM, try to have two separate email accounts – one for your personal and one for your professional life. Get better anti-spam filtering, so that your Inbox only contains real messages. Define filters, labels and rules, and (on Gmail) Archive anything that matches them – move as much stuff out of your Inbox as possible.

Check out stuff only on predefined schedules. Looking at the Dock/Taskbar to see if any new mail has landed in your Outlook / can become a bad habit really quickly. Instead, set your Taskbar/Dock to auto-hide, and try learning to check them at predetermined fixed times only. You can define recurring alerts on your phone, calendar or even with Quicksilver to remind you of the moments you allow yourself to check email, go online for a bit of browsing or IM your friends.

There are certainly many more tips you can do to cure your Internet ADD – for instance, when doing hard work, setting your browser preferences to block images, Flash or Java applications can avoid a lot of distractions. For instance, when I was in college, during exams season we used to unplug the computer altogether to remove temptation, and only allow ourselves a quick browsing or gaming session for an hour or so, as a reward after the exam. It surprisingly worked pretty well.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Internet addiction testing : Internet Addiction Test (IAT)

Internet addicting test (IAT) tool is a simple free testing tool for internet addiction that can be taken in no time , it will give you your level of internet addiction based on psychological tools

Internet addicting test (IAT) is offered by psychology-tools site as one of many free psychological tools given by this site 

 Try it and give us your feedback :)
Monday, March 5, 2012

Quotes about fighting Addiction

Quotes about fighting Addiction

Life is very interesting... in the end, some of your greatest pains, become your greatest strengths.
Drew Barrymore Quote for Overcoming Addiction
Drew Barrymore is best known for her role as an actor. She has successfully and gracefully overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol and is an inspiration to all who struggle with addiction.

"Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way."
Overcoming Addiction Quote by Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865)

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help with man with the wrong mental attitude."
W.W. Ziege motivational quotation

"The greatest pleasure in life is in doing what people say you cannot do."
Overcoming Addiction quotation by Walther Bageholt

"The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
William James (January 11, 1842 - August 26, 1910) quotation

"Well done is better than well said."
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790) motivational quote

"To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed."
Overcoming Addiction Quote by Bernard Edmonds

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
Bill Cosby (born July 12, 1937) motivational quote

"Do not think that what your thoughts dwell on does not matter. Your thoughts are making you."
Overcoming Addiction Quote by Bishop Steere

"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."
Overcoming Addiction Quote by Bishop W.C. Magee (1821-1891).

"We must learn our limits. We are all something, but none of us are everything."
Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 - August 19, 1662) quote

"It's not the situation…… it's your reaction to the situation."
Bob Conklin Overcoming Addiction Quote 

"Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know… One who doesn't try cannot fail and become wise."
Overcoming Addiction Quote by William Saroyan (August 31, 1908 - May 18, 1981)

"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."
Andre Gide (November 22, 1869 - February 19, 1951) quote

"You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessings."
Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 - June 8, 1845) quote

"How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway... And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!"
Anne Frank (June 12, 1929 - March 1945) quote

Chemical Reasons Behind Facebook Addiction !

The study says: "Statistical analysis of the psychophysiological data and pupil dilation indicates that the Facebook experience was significantly different from stress and relaxation on many linear and spectral indices of somatic activity. Moreover, the biological signals revealed that Facebook use can evoke a psychophysiological state characterized by high positive valence and high arousal."

It added that it's possible users reach a "positive affective state" when they access their social networks.

The report comes the same week that a University of Chicago study found Facebook can bemore addictive than cigarettes or alcohol.

With Facebook boasting 845 million users and Twitter at around 300 million, this research could be part of the reason for their enormous numbers. In fact, the researchers indicated that people seek out sites like Facebook and Twitter to receive this type of satisfaction, which has in turn, boosted their growth.

There's been no shortage of Facebook studies lately. Another report released last week found that those with a low self-esteem could suffer more by using the site, as posting negative items to Facebook often makes them appear less likable to their friends.