One Year Of Discipline, Day 22: How To Surf The Internet Without Drowning In It

One Year Of Discipline

There is one modern addiction that a lot of people fall into. Internet addiction. I am not even thinking about someone who cannot do anything else besides sitting in front of the computer.

I am talking about the frequent distractions that “just a quick check” brings. Those distractions “just” take away 2 minutes of our time, but can destroy our momentum and throw us completely off our task.

The internet is a great source of  information and a very useful tool.

I, for one, don’t want to completely abandon it. I just want to use it without getting “used by it”. To me, internet surfing is NOT the enemy. It’s like open-mindedly browsing a bookstore. But once my curiosity has been satisfied, continuing to click around becomes a problem. I don’t have a task anymore, which means I am just glancing at the websites around me. I am standing still and thus easily sink into the internet – and drown. Sometimes I am surfing the internet out of pure avoidance behavior. Huge problem, although it is not as bad as it used to be.

Here is what has worked for me so far:

#1 – Recognize your time is precious and make sure you get your priorities done first.

For example, I stopped checking eMails every 5 minutes. I check them in the morning after I have done some of my daily disciplines – and in the evening. That’s sufficient for me. Other times may work for you. Define them and then give yourself 30 minutes or so to dedicate them to your activities.

#2 – Replace your internet browser as often as you can

Once I have opened Safari or Firefox, the Golden Gates to the complete internet are open wide. That’s not what I want, because it places a lout of temptation into my hand. Therefore, I am using separate programs to access the internet. For example, I have a gmail account, but I have configured Apple Mail and Microsoft Entourage to check my eMail. When possible, I use an RSS reader to check blog posts (check one of Beppo Venerdi’s recent podcasts for a discussion about blog posts and RSS feeds). And I am using iTunes to listen to podcasts.

#3 – Have the courage to say “no”.

Not all topics in any given blog are always relevant to me. For example, right now I am starting my blog. If somebody talks about how he started his own business, or gives some tips on which design elements to implement or which plugins are great to get you started, awesome. However, right now I do not need to know how to grow my business from “6 figures a year” to “6 figures a month”. Some content is simply not useful for me right now, or may never be. That’s ok. I don’t have to read them.

#4 – Two hours action, one hour reading

I recently saw an article with some ideas on good content for a blog post – the relevant content is at the end of the article (and by the way, this is also a great article for content on your blog, if you are interested). I kept the advice on these posts in mind and started to put it into motion. And until I have implemented at least some of the suggestions, I will not continue to read more articles about starting your blog.

#5 – Bookmark interesting sites.

 That’s deferred gratification. Whenever a new article catches my eye, I bookmark it or put it onto the “reading list” for later, when I have more time. If the topic of that post really was that important for me, I will read it; if not, I will happily delete it. This avoids following a brief spike of short-term gratification that really has no impact on my life.

#6 – Have a purpose

Before I go onto twitter or Facebook, I often know exactly what I want to do – answer the message from a friend, or post a specific status update. I never go on these social media site without a plan beforehand. That way, I don’t react to anything that pops up in my news feed, but act first.
All of these items have helped me curb excessive internet use, while still using the web to learn and effectively stay in touch with people.

Summary of Day 22

Below you will find

(a) a quick description how I fared on my main goals – losing body fat, working on my blog, installing good habits;

(b) my thoughts for the day;

(c) how the rest of the program went and whether there were any irregularities or other noteworthy points.

Day 22

Losing body fat

Body fat a little up: 22.8%.

Breakfast: Coffee.

Nothing for lunch, Mozzarella and tomatoes for dinner.

Today’s juice: Southern Punch. Collard Greens, ginger, lemon and carrots – delicious! I actually replaced the collards with kale. You can find the recipe here or in Juicing for Power. (*)

Calisthenics routine:

120 push-ups, squats, sit-ups all in good form.

Working on my blog

I wrote this blog post here.


(a) Emotional Health: Went to Happy Hour – I am slowly getting my social life better under control.

(b) Spiritual Health: I continued the Happiness Habit. What was I grateful for?

1. One day closer to submitting the manuscript.
2. Living close to New York City.
3. Cold showers.

(c) Mental Health.

10 ways to provide an older brother to people.
1. Be that big brother.
2. Connect them with a brother-sister company.
3. Connect them to an old folks home.
4. Write up what you learnt in life, then give the list to people that look for an older brother.
5. Take in a homeless person.
6. Befriend a random stranger.
7. Feed the pigeons and get into chatting with other people that feed.
8. Get a puppy and make a friend at the dog run.
9. Have people wear clothing that indicates if they are looking for a smaller sibling -> that’s your big brother.
10. Cold-call people to see who would be willing to be a big brother.

Thoughts for the day

What did I do well?
I focused well on our manuscript.

What do I want to improve?
Writing these diary post takes surprisingly long – especially in the evening.

How will I improve?
Take all notes during the day, when they occur to you.

30-Day of Discipline items

Here is a list and how I fared:

1. Eat three meals or less: ate two.

2. Get up between 5 and 7 am: got up at 7 am.

3. Cold shower: yes

4. No Porn and Masturbation: check

5. 100 push-ups/squats/sit-ups minimum: each 120.

6. Dress to impress, dress for success: check.

7. Make a to-do list: check

8. Stand tall and proud: check

9. No excuses/explanations/BS: check

10. Keep those ideas written down: check

11. My purpose: lab and blog. check.

To check the description of the “One Year of Discipline” challenge, click here.

To see yesterday’s post, click here.

To get back to the homepage, click here.

(*) I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.