How to Overcome Internet Procrastination Habits

I have always been prone to procrastination but, since I started blogging, the problem increased ten-fold. So, in an attempt to recover from my addiction, I would like to admit publicly that I have been abusing the use of social media on a daily basis! I find blogging, twittering and checking out my facebook account a source of excitement. I absolutely love reading the blogs of my peers. In fact, I get a kick out of writing down my own comments, while waiting for the well deserved answer. Over the past few months, I met more interesting people online that I could ever meet in person during the same period.

And yet, the obvious advantages could be overshadowed by the disadvantages arising from using the internet as a procrastination tool. The line that divides the use of social media from their abuse is very thin indeed. It is so very easy to forget how many hours I spent in front of the computer screen, at the expense of my teaching and research responsibilities. Under different circumstances, skipping research would have laden me with enormous guilt. Not in this case, though, for a multitude of valid reasons. First of all, there is the perception that blogging and twittering enhances the dissemination of knowledge to a wider circle of people (something that I cannot achieve solely through university teaching). Secondly, internet is a constant source of entertainment. I have never read so many articles, which are both relevant to my work and they provide daily amusement at the same time. Last, but not least, communicating online with my ‘friends’ takes my mind off serious problems at work and gives me a much needed emotional support. Stress relief follows immediately after.

Despite the advantages of social media procrastination, I feel that I should restrain myself. Therefore I intend to set here the rules I will follow over the next days, weeks or month:
1) I will write my posts, micro-posts and answers after 6 o’clock in the evening, when I am tired (exhausted is more accurate).
2) I will not spend more than an hour per day on the task.
3) I will use blogging as a reward for a productive day (in terms of research and teaching)..
4) I will make myself accountable to ….myself in the evening. If I have not complied with the above rules, I will force myself to stay without internet for the next day. (I apologise to my colleagues in advance for not answering their emails, while I am being punished.)

Let us hope for the next 21 days I will keep my resolve, after which time I hope that a new habit will be formed. If you have any further advice, please, let me know.

Economic historian and numismatic consultant

1 Comment

  1. As a social-media addict myself, I have found that de-activating my Facebook account during key periods (like now when I am finishing final revisions for thesis) is a very effective way to stem procrastination.

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