Use Your Computer Effectively and Other Tips
Manage your online time:
Turn off wifi. Then you can still sit on your couch and write a paper. And if you need to send a file to someone or something that's actually important, go over to the hub and attach an ethernet cable. Only use the net when you are attached to the cat5 umbilical cord. It makes you a lot more conscious of being online vs. not.
Today I was smart: 1) I used the computer not much, and 2) I turned it off everytime I was finished. May sound weird, but this alone helps me a lot.
Another suggestion for rebooters:
I prefer to keep a journal in a Word document and post online every week to ten days. When you stop focusing on the reboot every day it doesn't seem to take as long (and you're away from the computer for longer - which helps avoid temptation).
Says this computer's owner:
If you find yourself looking at porn simply in between what you are doing, or if you forget the reason why you are on the computer in the first place and are looking at porn whilst in a daydream "trance," then this system might help you. I based it on a tip from my favourite time management book: Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster.
Before you turn on your computer, write everything you need to do on to small post-it notes. Stick them to the top of your screen. As you do each job unpeel them and stick them on to another surface. Not only do you get all your work done but you also get the satisfaction of seeing your list diminish. Yet you still have a visual record of what you have accomplished.
I find it very motivating and when I use it I am very productive and positive. The added benefit is that I am less likely to procrastinate and watch porn sites.
Juggle things to limit your computer use to essentials when at home:
I have a new approach which so far seems to be quite effective. I got rid of the internet. Yeah, any filter I can disable isn’t worth much to me, and I’m not going to give any passwords to anyone else. So what I did is I took the power supply for the DSL modem and brought it in with me to work, and I’ve left it in a drawer for the foreseeable future- I’m thinking 1 month.
I’ve got a smartphone and I can set up tethering to my macbook, if I need to send emails or look up something on Google, but it wouldn’t be practical to use it for porn, and my main PC isn’t even connected to that. It also has a friendly side-effect that other time-wasting websites like reddit or online games don’t work as well, while the PC still works fine for doing writing or music.
So far, it works great. Porn’s a lot less tempting now that it’s not a click away. Interestingly, other activities seem a lot more appealing when I’m no longer subconsciously comparing them against that particular dopamine rush.
I’d resisted doing any “draconian” measure like this, but in retrospect it seems so obvious. We like to think of ourselves as evolved humans, what with our critical thinking and ability to plan ahead. But the part of the mind that succumbs to addiction isn’t that part, rather it bypasses that part, and is part of a brain circuitry much older, much more primal.
As such you can’t really reason with it, you kind of just have to treat it like an animal, like a dog for example. If the dog keeps eating your shoes, it doesn’t help to smack it around when you discover a destroyed shoe after the fact. Or to reason with it that destroying shoes isn’t a good idea. You’ve got to train it over time... or make sure it doesn’t have access to shoes, by keeping them out of reach... like hidden in a faraway drawer.
Anyway, I'd suggest trying this tactic to anyone who's struggled with relapses like I have. If you live alone, just take the modem or its power supply into work and leave it there. If you live with family or roommates who share an internet connection, just cut the ethernet cable for the computer you used for PMO purposes with a pair of scissors. You can buy a new one at the store when you're past those first few weeks or so.
Another guy's approach:
I have been avoiding my computer like the plague. What makes it a challenge is that I am currently taking an online algebra class to complete my degree. I made up my mind that anytime I was going to work on math it would be at my school's computer, or if I can't at a Starbucks with my laptop. In case of emergencies when I need to print something out quickly or have to check my email from my home computer, I treat computer use as a time bomb. I hurry up and get everything done as soon as I can. I'm basically racing myself because I know how sneaky that PMO is.
I think the battle with being PMO clean is easy this way. Instead of thinking of avoiding PMO I'm just thinking of ways to avoid the home computer as well as the actual office the computer is in. Like they say, if someone tells you not to think of the pink elephant, your mind cannot help but to picture the pink elephant. Since I avoid the entire computer, PMO is no longer the pink elephant that it has been on my other abstinence tries. Another thing I did to avoid computer time and to focus more on my goals is disable my Facebook account! Let me tell you guys, this helps immensely with your focus. I no longer care to look at status updates, pictures (of girls which can trigger), comments on my status updates or pictures. Basically all my energy and attention goes somewhere else.
Internet time restriction
I recently re-installed K9 and in addition to heavily customizing and beefing up the restrictions (long list of my go-to sites specifically blocked), I've also set time restrictions so I cannot surf the internet after 9pm. It's been great. No idle late night surfing. Less risk of stumbling on triggers. Less temptations to relapse. In the K9 admin page, "Time Restrictions" is second from the top on the left hand side. Once inside Time Restrictions, you can click "custom" to choose when internet access is on or blocked. It's helped remind me keep off the computer after work and get to bed at a normal hour.