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Time Control Software - getting more done in less time

 8:59 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi guys,

lately I've been wondering...I do get distracted easily and could work more efficiently than I do (I could probably get done as much as I get done, now in half the time).

I already started increasing my efficiency, by only using 2-3 forums (instead of 10 in the beginning lol) and by not posting too much, unless I feel like I really should give my input/ask a question.

However, I still get distracted way too much sitting in front of a PC and being online...I'm going to try to use some kind of time control software that'll make sure I can only spend 4-5 hours on the internet daily (I'm in college).

Is anybody doing something like this, too?

Anybody know a good time control software?




 3:07 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)



 3:27 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I sometimes find it helpful to use an old-fashioned cooking timer with a bell that rings after the set time has elapsed.

It's often easier to muster the concentration to "stay focused until the bell rings" than it is to just tell yourself that you ought to stay focused.


 1:38 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's often easier to muster the concentration to "stay focused until the bell rings" than it is to just tell yourself that you ought to stay focused.

The more you have to do i.e. the more pressed for time you are, the better your time management. Since you are in college, think of it this way...

Ever tried to start a serious paper two days before it is due? one day? a few hours? I know I procrastinated all the time in college and left myself almost no time at all to complete tasks I had known about, sometimes for months. I found then, as I do now, that the best way to manage my time was to have something else scheduled which I wanted/had to do at a preset time. It was much easier for me to sit down for 5 hours and research for a paper if I knew I had to turn in some evidence of work in 6 hours...the same holds true with my work today. If I have some other task which must start at a scheduled time, such as a conference call, product training, etc. I am infinitely more productive than on days where the only thing I have to do is the bare minimum.


 4:57 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi HugeNerd,

I understand exactly what you mean with the time pressure in college. been thinking a lot about this, because I made an effort to start studying on day 1 of the semester (I have 3-4 months of semester break after all), and instead not going to any lectures (or well almost, because quite honestly if I can get myself to do the studying on my own, which I finally can lol, that's a lot more effective than sitting through classes (atl east for most classes, its the cases for me..), which allows me to save time..worked outp retty well last semester actually.

"The more you have to do i.e. the more pressed for time you are, the better your time management. "

I like this quote, because actually that's kind of my point. If I only have 4-5 hours online time b/c of time control osftware Ill be able to use that time more efficiently. I remember not having internet at my appartment, yet and only had that amount of time and I spent 90+% of it doing actual work instead of surfing the web for random stuff for 50% of my time lol


 5:45 am on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

and instead not going to any lectures

Some colleges allow you to enter yourself for their examinations as an 'external student' or similar. Look into that. There's no point in spending a fortune on tuition and then not turning up.

Conversely, I know many places will de-register you from modules if they find you've not been attending lectures. Whether that's because they want to avoid red faces when you get top marks without listening to their 'expert lecturers' or it's out of genuine concern for you is unclear. So, careful about that as well.

I remember not having internet at my apartment

That's why I gave you the first answer of 'dial up'. Try it. Cut the cable or broadband internet and use 'dial up'. That way you pay per minute connected and it's so slow to do anything that surfing is far from fun. Failing dial up, here are some more ideas:

  • Timer-switch such as used when you leave for vacation; have the modem automatically turn off in all but the first 15 mins of each hour in the evening (or similar). Put a small light on the same circuit so you'll visually know when the line is up.
  • HOSTS file is your friend1. Take all your favourite sites, add them to your HOSTS file with your local IP before them. Sorry, if you can't control wasteful browsing block the sites which take the most time: wikipedia.org en.wikipedia.org
  • Screen-sharing software. Install it and share your screen with a trusted relative or similar who is online the same kinds of time. He or she will give you stick when you stop working.
  • Better music. The right choice will keep you focused. I favour BBC Radio 3 for working (it is online as well)
  • Skip sunlight. Unless you need to be up during the day, realign your body clock to a perpetual night-shift. Far fewer distractions that way and it's much easier to focus on work.
  • Cut out the coffee, mountain dew and beer. These things give you a welcome boost but only work well when you are 'off work' for the evening. If you want to work throughout working hours then you'll just start skipping sleep and won't have any benefit as your body will be entirely accustomed.
    1 - Windows: c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts; Linux: /etc/hosts

  • Makaveli2007

     7:54 pm on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Hi vincevincevince,

    thanks for all the input. As for college, I'm in Germany and fees were only really introduced recently (which are 590 Euros/semester and that's a fixed fee). I've worked the college thing out, though, so that isnt a problem anymore.

    As for working nighttime........unfortunately Im a night owl and have been looking to change that for a looong time...as much as I love the web, it feels bad if you get up at 4 PM and the day is basically over..I need a social life, too lol..so actually Im looking into switching to working during the day, not at night. But actually, there arent that many distractions for me during the day at the moment (esp. as Im at the stage of life where most of your friends (who finished college laready) moved away to a place far away..).

    Thanks for these other suggestions, I'll try them out if my original plan of using time control software (such as parental control software) doesn't work out. I hope I will find something like that, though (would give the password to change this stuff to my sister in that case) and that it'll work. If it doesnt, though, I'll try your ideas. thanks!

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