We’ve featured quite a few ways to rid yourself of distractions during work, but xkcd author Randall Munroe shares his very simple solution: just hit the reset button whenever you feel yourself start to get bored.
Originally, he says he tried to create a Chrome extension or script to impose a 30-second delay on himself whenever he tried to load a new page or chat client. In the end, though, he found it much simpler to just turn off his computer:
I made it a rule that as soon as I finished any task, or got bored with it, I had to power off my computer.
I could turn it back on right away-this wasn’t about trying to use the computer less. The rule was just that the moment I finished (or lost interest in) the thing I was doing, and felt like checking Google News et. al., before I had time to think too much, I’d start the shutdown process. There was no struggle of willpower; I knew that after I hit the button, I could decide to do anything I wanted. But if I decided to look at a website, I’d have to wait through the startup, and once I was done, I’d have to turn it off again before doing anything else. (This works best if your ongoing activities are persistent online-for example, all my IRC chat is through irssi running in screen, so turning off my laptop doesn’t make me sign out.)
It’s certainly simpler than installing Chrome extensions and site blockers on your computer. In fact, Munroe says those never worked as well because they’re too easy to bypass with a few clicks — there’s not really an easy way to get around the 30-second wait of rebooting. Hit the link to read more.