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I had no clue where to post this so here it is...<br><br>
Does anyone have any 'tricks' to limiting your own computer time? I was going to download some free software but when I saw it would automatically log you out when the time is up, I freaked (I need warnings to finish up, I do NOT like being suddenly kicked out of whatever I'm doing!)<br><br>
But I seriously spend way too much time online and I need to get control over it, ideas??
 

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I stick my computer in an unused room of the house during the day so that I"m not sneaking "a few minutes" here and there while the kids are up.<br><br>
I also have limited success with setting clear rules for myself, like not using the computer til 3PM, or putting a timer on for 15min or something.<br><br>
I have a pretty serious computer problem too. Can't wait to hear other ideas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I am on the computer way too much.<br><br>
I don't read as much ( books) as I used to.<br><br>
I have a much bigger problem with my computer screen time than I ever did with t.v. T.V. programming just has never been a problem for me. I used to read more and rarely watched t.v.<br><br>
The computer, though, wow, there is soooooo much interesting "stuff" out there and so many people to talk to...<br><br>
Every now and then I take a 2 week or so "break" where I put it away or only check my e-mail once a day during that time or not at all. I let eveyone know I'll be off-line, so they don't worry and so that they know to call me by phone because I may or may not be checking e-mail depending...<br><br>
Putting the computer someplace that is less convenient has helped me some. Or detaching it from the power cord and making myself get off it when the battery wears down...just a kind of self-imposed limit.<br><br>
I will be reading. I need ideas, too.<br><br>
I'll say it...I'm addicited to my computer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tinybutterfly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15433004"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a much bigger problem with my computer screen time than I ever did with t.v. T.V. programming just has never been a problem for me. I used to read more and rarely watched t.v.<br><br>
The computer, though, wow, there is soooooo much interesting "stuff" out there and so many people to talk to...</div>
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This is me, too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag"> I'm just sooooo much more productive (around the house, homeschooling, my WAHM biz, everything) when I limit my computer time but it never lasts for long. Yeah, I suck. I need to get it under control again.
 

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I'm just getting back to seriously working on it. My biggest obstacles are:<br><br>
1) For the last several years, my biggest support for a lot of really major issues in my life (marital breakdown/divorce, miscarriages, c-sections, stillbirth) has been online. While I don't need the same level of support right now, the reality is that most of my closest friends are people I only communicate with online. It's hard to just shut that off.<br><br>
2) I'm soooo tired. I tell myself I should get offline and get more exercise, etc, but it doesn't help. I need more sleep, and until I get it, I'm going to be too tired. When I'm tired, I don't feel up to doing very much, and I spend too much time here.<br><br>
3) NAKing. I spend a lot of time nursing right now, so I tend to be at the computer. DD2 is almost 11 months old now, so that one will start to self-corrct soon, I think.<br><br>
So, for me, I need to find specific ways to address those three (well, two - #3 is self-correcting, as I said) obstacles, and cutting down will come naturally.<br><br>
I have used a timer in the past, and it's been fairly effective. It's <i>way</i> too easy to lose track of time when hanging out online.
 

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this is a hard one for me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> My dh takes the computer when he goes to work usually, 5 days at a time, and that is extremely good for me. Sometimes I set a timer, but I am more likely to set a timer to do something else, and have my downtime be at the computer.
 

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Firefox has a 'leech blocker' software that you can set up to block you off a website after a specific time you set up... You can either restrict the times you can go to (6) certain sites and/or you can say after xx minutes - times up.<br>
Since it only works for 6 websites, it might not be the right program, plus there are plenty of ways to easily sneak by it, but it might be enough to set a limit or moniter how long you are really using a site. I'm not sure if this tyep or program is available for other websites.<br><a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4476/" target="_blank">https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4476/</a><br>
Jessica
 

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I'm working a lot more now, so it's been easier. But when I was home with the kids full-time it was sooo hard. I'm an extrovert, too, so it was extra hard before the kids could carry on satisfying conversations. But it really worked for me to just not turn it on until nap time. Then, as long as I had plans for post-naptime, I could get my fix and move on. Sometimes I'm on here way too late at night, but if dh falls asleep early with the kids, which often happens, at least I don't feel so guilty.
 

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So, Fuamami, what did you do when your kids didn't nap anymore? My DS gave up his nap at 2, so I may not get a single break all day until 6PM when DH gets home. It's usually that last 2 hours or so that I really struggle with getting on the computer. The pre-dinner hour at my house just makes me want to run away most days.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>InMediasRes</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15433421"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So, Fuamami, what did you do when your kids didn't nap anymore? My DS gave up his nap at 2, so I may not get a single break all day until 6PM when DH gets home. It's usually that last 2 hours or so that I really struggle with getting on the computer. The pre-dinner hour at my house just makes me want to run away most days.</div>
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Books on tape! Or CD, but it just doesn't sound the same. My kids have quiet time in their room with a CD, and they love it. But it was tough when I had a baby and 2 yo, and they weren't napping at the same time. That was usually time for NAKing.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I have a few critical times of the day (and certain situations) where the computer is so tempting. The main challenging times are: 1) After I get home in the mornings from walking DD to school; and 2) If I am under the weather (not super sick, but not in great health).<br><br>
For situation #1, I have some tricks that work. I set up a weekly schedule and each day has a focus. I don't spend a TON of time on that focused activity each day, rather short chunks here and there or one hour right from the get-go. My "trick" is I do that task/activity before opening my laptop each day. This method is particularly helpful early in the week. Monday is my home blessing day where I spend one hour cleaning/attending to whatever needs the most love in our home. Doing that first thing ensure it gets done and then the "reward" is computer time. Ironically, I find myself motivated to not only clean longer some days, but also just more motivated to do other things period.<br><br>
Tuesday is my paperwork and finances day. I use the desktop for the finances and I purposely do not have any non-financial links/bookmarks/etc set up on my web browser on the computer. I do not have my email account set up on the desktop, either, which can be a bit obnoxious sometimes even though it is far more beneficial overall the way I do it. Of course, I could google anything and find anything and could access my email via alternate methods. However, the point is I completely separated the financial tasks to that computer alone and "fun" on my laptop. It is like I am headed to "work" where there is no email or MDC or other such places. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Once I am finished with the finances and phone calls related to paperwork, then I open my laptop and deal with calendar and email and other paperwork related issues. THEN, I can do whatever I want. Some Tuesdays these tasks only take 15 minutes or less, so this isn't really about length of computer time but more about accomplishing important tasks FIRST. Other Tuesdays require hours of work and I find the motivation to get it done simply out of habit and the satisfaction of completing important-to-us tasks.<br><br>
Wednesday is my project day. "Projects" run a WIDE gamut! Some are computer-related and some are physical and some are volunteer events out of the home, etc. Even when it is a research project that involves the computer, I have trained myself to focus on the project FIRST. I don't even open email or MDC or other tempting sites until my self-determined project is completed or far enough along for my satisfaction.<br><br>
Thursday is my DD's early day from school and my focus is extra time with her. We typically cook lunch together and do something together (wide variety). Sometimes it involves other people (playdates) and sometimes it is just us. No matter what, this all starts at noon, so I don't restrict my computer time in the morning at all.<br><br>
Friday is my friend day. I do <i>something</i> related to friends every Friday. As little as a phone call to a friend or spending some time chatting with mom friends at school at drop-off or pick-up or spending some time chatting with neighbors...or as much as setting up a Mom's Morning or making specific plans with specific friends, etc. Today included FOUR such activities! My computer time today was minimal, although I am on a bit later than usual tonight since I stumbled upon this thread. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Saturday and Sunday are family days (each in a different way). Computer time comes later, if at all.<br><br>
With all of the above, I get important-to-me/us tasks done FIRST. Therefore, I feel good about my accomplishments and experience very little, if any, guilt. Also, often those original tasks spur me on to do more of the same tasks and/or do other tasks beyond my original focus and just in general keep my laptop closed far more than before I had this system in place.<br><br>
While I was first instituting the idea, I did something a little different. I would grab my laptop as soon as I walked in the door after walking DD to school and sit down at the kitchen table with it open while I fixed and ate my own breakfast. Once I was done with breakfast, then I'd close the laptop and do the task related to the focus of the day. I'd leave the laptop disconnected from power and only allow myself breaks online during the tasks and/or computer time after the task was finished until the battery ran out.<br><br>
Something of note that I learned about myself years ago, which comes up in many, many ways all the time is I figured out my "best" times of the day for high energy tasks and my "best" times of the day for low energy tasks. The key has been for me to match them up as best as possible within reason. I found the computer was interfering a LOT for awhile. Honestly, I am okay with my computer usage during my natural "low energy" timeframes. It is only a problem for me personally when I play on the computer during my "best" time of the day for high energy required tasks. That is when I feel like I have wasted time and/or opportunities.<br><br>
Therefore, I don't worry much about #2 on my list way up at the beginning of this reply. If I am feeling under the weather, there isn't a whole lot of other tasks/activities I would be doing if I were NOT on the computer. I do try to think about that actively and adjust my activity accordingly. Like, if I am feeling ill enough to be in bed asleep, then I think about why I am on the computer instead. Most of the time, that thought process is enough to motivate me to self-correct the behavior and close the laptop and take a nap. (I can usually call in reinforcements for child-care duty under these circumstances, but sometimes the timing has to be adjusted and sleeping has to wait.)<br><br>
Not exactly computer time, but related and easily transferred to the computer time issue....<br>
When I was making the switch from mindless TV watching at night to barely any TV watching, the trigger for me was thinking about what I would like to accomplish and how I would rather be spending my time. For me, it was crafts. I wanted to be able to sew and scrapbook and do other crafty things for personal fulfillment. When DD was a baby, that had to happen when she was asleep at night because her naps were 15-30 minutes long and I held her while she napped in order to get even that much time. TV time conflicted with my "free" time, so I had to make a choice. DH and I started out with a schedule. Monday nights were cleaning nights. (We both worked then and preferred to have our weekends clear.) Tuesday nights were finances. (We each had certain tasks.) Wednesday nights were our individual project nights (self-defined). Thursdays were TV nights. We alternated Friday and Saturday night date nights within our playgroup babysitting co-op several times a month. (They were "open" nights when we didn't have a date night nor a babysitting night.) Saturday and Sunday alternated on house projects (or other joint projects) with family hikes. Sunday nights were always "open". We gradually began to fill those "open" slots with hobbies instead of TV. Me more than DH, but my goals were different than his. We both actually filled them with computer time gradually, also. Him more than me, but his career AND hobbies center around the computer industry to a large degree. No matter how you look at it, though, we both became more well-rounded from our concentrated efforts to turn the TV off more and more. *Some* of that TV time turned into computer time, yes, but not all of it by a long shot.<br><br>
Best wishes in finding what works for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Sunnysandiegan THANK YOU for taking the time to post about how you organise your time ....<br><br>
am still plodding through "Time management from the inside out"<br>
so reading about what the process involved over time for you and your husband is REALLY helping me in my efforts to address my own problems due to too much time on the computer ....
 

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Wow... some good thoughts and you guys really GET it. This is my social outlet. This is my intellectual stimulation. This is my 'down time', my 'I'm not sure what to do next' time, my 'too tired to do anything else' activity, and my escape. PLUS, my job requires me to be on the computer 100%. I have 2 laptops, one for work & one for personal, though it's not a clear-cut separation (when I am stuck on the computer & there's just not a lot of work to do, I have to do SOMETHING so I research stuff etc.!) On a typical day I spend 4-6 hours on the computer for work... which obviously I can't adjust... and then once DH gets home I spend another couple hours on & off, trying to catch up on emails, browsing, etc. I don't have this problem with TV at all -- the TV never goes on before 8pm and more often not 'til 9 or 10pm (though I do need it to fall asleep). Maybe I just need to make rules. Sunnysandiegan, your system sounds wonderful, but I don't think I can be that organized!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I rebel against structure!! But I do tend to follow my own rules but I am having trouble making a good rule for computer use. Only between 7-8pm? Only 2 hours a day? Only when I run out of books to read? Only when DH is home? Only while NAK'ing? (that would still be way too often!!) Ahhh <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I can't seem to figure out what's reasonable & doable! I'm tempted to just throw the whole computer out the window & be done with it!!<br><br>
I like the idea of that firefox site restricter but I'd probably just open up IE instead to get around it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I don't keep sites bookmarked, I remember all the url's in my head... Oooo I just remembered in college I made this popup that was on a timer and after a certain amount of time it would come up & gave me a list of other things to do instead. It worked pretty well but I don't think I remember how I made it pop up, because that was on an old operating system...
 

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Do you have sticky notes (the program)? You can set timers on those, so you could have it pop up at say, 9 PM every night with a list of things to do instead. That's actually not a bad idea.<br><br>
My problem is that half the time I'm still rocking a sleeping baby at 9PM. That's usually when I'm prone to put something on hulu with my headphones though. I wish there was a better option of stuff to do while baby's sleeping but I'm not ready for bed yet.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IsaFrench</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15433899"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sunnysandiegan THANK YOU for taking the time to post about how you organise your time ....<br><br>
am still plodding through "Time management from the inside out"<br>
so reading about what the process involved over time for you and your husband is REALLY helping me in my efforts to address my own problems due to too much time on the computer ....</div>
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It was my pleasure. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
You'll find your way in your own time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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OP - You said you follow your own rules. That is what I do, also, and how I set things up for me. Structure isn't really the point of what I was saying. That is what worked for me, but the point was finding out what I wanted to be accomplishing and wasn't due to the computer (and TV). One could decide what she/he wanted to get accomplished that morning (or the night before) and do it FIRST. Or even adjust the timing to a specific time of day. It is a psychological shift....subtle, but critical. You have total control. Make the decision that X, Y, or Z is more important than the computer (even if just for short periods of time) and the rest will follow. The problem I see with many "limiting" type rules is the focus is on "limits" versus accomplishments. Shift your thought process to include what you DO want during any part of the day.<br><br>
Energy flows where attention goes. <<-----------That is probably the most succinct way of saying what I have been rambling on about... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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The best way I find is to power that sucker down. It doesn't help much if I have something I need to do in another program that is not net related. But I sometimes set reward goals for myself as well. "I can go back on line at 3 pm, if I've folded and put away the mountain of laundry, loaded ran and unloaded the dishwasher and played cars/blocks/ whatever on the floor with my kids for a minimum of 45 minutes." Sometimes I find I get more house work done because of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Sometimes I find I'm having so much fun playing with my kids i loose track of time and 5 hours has gone bay and I haven't turn the computer back on.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnysandiegan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15434020"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">the point was finding out what I wanted to be accomplishing and wasn't due to the computer (and TV).</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I think that right there gets to the heart of my problem. There is nothing else I would rather be accomplishing. OK let me rephrase that. The things I'd rather do, I can't, so there are only 3 options (that I can think of) -- read, watch TV, go online. I can't think of very many other things that I would enjoy doing that allow me to sit/lay down. Maybe knitting but I hate knitting without a purpose and the cat gets too much enjoyment from playing with the yarn <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I think I got so caught up in the 'structure' of your post that I really missed your basic point. Until I come up with realistic alternatives and goals/activities, arbitrarily limiting my computer time will be pointless. Wow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> you are a genius. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I've got some thinking to do!
 

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I thought I was the only one. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

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We do not have tv and I know how I would feel about somebody constantly telling her children to hold on until a show was over or a commercial came on or whatever.<br><br>
I think I do the same thing only online. I need to put all this in perspective and walk away or turn it off so I am not putting the littles off until I get one more thing done or checked in on.<br><br>
Some of my kids are older so I can't have too much of a double standard as to how much time and why when it comes to limits. They can tell when I am working vs surfing.
 
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