This is my RescueTime report from slightly over a year ago.

I was spending almost over 7 hours a day nearly motionless, staring at a small, glowing rectangle. The thing is, I wasn’t even aware of how much time was slipping by until I installed this software. It showed me in objective data, the hard truth of how I was choosing to spend my life. That moment was shocking and terrifying but it was also the jolt of motivation I needed to start changing my life.

A year later, I have a happy relationship with the internet. It is no longer my enemy, it is my ally. I never could’ve gotten to this point without software to help. So in this guide I’m sharing the tools I found helpful in kicking my internet addiction. I’ve also added recommendations shared by members from our community.

It’s important to note that software isn’t a silver bullet. It can however, make the journey back to healthy internet use a lot easier and faster. Due to that, I highly recommend and encourage members to use software tools.

Step 1: Time Tracking Software

When asked how much time they spend on their devices people tend to underestimate their screen time by as much as 50%. This is because using our smartphones and computers has become automatic habit. The majority of our screen time flies under our conscious radar.

By using these tools, you’ll have an objective measure of how you’re spending your time. This will help you build awareness and encourage more conscious and intentional use of your devices.

I recommend using:

Step 2: Software To Block Distracting Websites

Not all apps are trying to hack your brain and steal your time. There are some apps out there that are trying to do the opposite. They help you resist distraction and stay focused.

For Windows and Mac

For blocking specific sites, timed blocks, and scheduled blocks:

Other blockers:

  • Pluckeye is designed specifically to block adult content. It can however, also be used for blocking other sites on the internet.
  • K9 Web Protection can block entire categories of the internet. It’s not very user friendly but still worth looking into.

For Smartphones and Tablets

Step 3: Other Suggestions To Remain Distraction Free

Focused Writing

Modern word processors were designed for business people to quickly send memo’s and emails. Hence the cluttered and cumbersome interfaces. I recommend switching to and editor specifically designed for writing. They’re clean, minimalist interfaces designed to help you get into the flow and just focus on writing.

Distraction Free Youtube

The YouTube sidebar algorithm makes it nearly impossible not to get sucked into. You can use browser extensions that can eliminate the sidebar, comments, and other distracting things on YouTube.

A Minimalist Web Browser

I’ve recently stumbled upon a web browser called Colibri that takes a minimalist approach to web browsing. Unlike other browsers that let you upon as many tabs as you want, Colibri lets you open just one. This forces you to focus on doing just one thing at a time. While frustrating at first, I’ve found that it eliminates my tendencies to distract myself by opening up a random tab to quickly check something, to quickly skim through multiple pages, or other forms of multitasking. It’s a calm, focused approach to browsing which is quite refreshing to use.

I hope you guys have found these suggestions useful! If you have any of your own, please let me know and I’ll update the guide!

Hi I’m Nik Kochath. I like to write things on the internet for people who want to spend less time on the internet. Some people say this is ironic. Others say it’s genius. If you’re in the latter, feel free to check out my full archive.

2 Comments

  1. needadvice3241

    Since I don’t see it here, need to give a shout out to Freedom. You can create a schedule for blocks, customize as many blocklists as you like, and start ad hoc block sessions for as long as you want and for whatever content. Their iOS app has a VPN installation feature that will block both apps that you choose like facebook and any reddit client, as well as a safari content blocker. Best of all, short of uninstalling it, I’ve found it’s very difficult to get around when my willpower is waning. You can set it to locked mode so that blocklists and sessions can’t be changed while active, as well as disabling quitting the Windows program during a session.

    Reply
  2. Floy

    Informative article, exactly what I was looking for.

    Reply

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Hi I’m Nik Kochath. I like write things on the internet for people who want to spend less time on the internet. Some people say this is ironic. Others say it’s genius. If you’re in the latter, feel free to check out my full archive.