This past weekend I installed a Pi-Hole on our home network to help block ads/trackers, but also block distracting websites on my phone. I’ve become far too addicted with Twitter and Youtube to the point where I can’t get anything done at work.
I installed a little script on my computer that edits my hosts file based on a custom schedule to block distracting websites. Right now it’s set to block 24 hours a day, but I hope to be able to lighten that up once I get more control over my brain.
I can still access the sites on my phone via LTE and I have done that for Facebook messenger as that’s how my paintball team communicates. I can’t block it completely. YouTube is too helpful and inspiration for music and coding things and Facebook is how I communicate with a lot of people. But I’ve made it pretty damn hard to access those things.
The experiment has been pretty good so far. It’s only been a few days but I’ve noticed that I’m much calmer and my mind has been wandering a lot less. My mind still definitely doesn’t know that I can’t visit these sites. It’s still a very strong habit for me to open a new tab, slam the “t-w” keys and then press enter. I’m now greeted by this though. ￼
However this morning I was trying to fix some push notification issues in our app. I went to onesignal.com and was greeted by that same message. I couldn’t figure out which of the websites I decided to block caused this…turns out it is in the default block list on the pi-hole! So I ended up whitelisting that one and am interested to see what other domains end up being blocked that I need to use. Not a big deal, just interesting.
I’ve also decided to re-read The Power of Now and I can tell that is having an effect on me. If I ever catch myself thinking about the past or future I bring my mind back into the present by noticing the sensations and environment around me. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely been helpful.
The goal of all this? Improve life satisfaction. Stop comparing myself to others I see on the Internet, and improve creative thinking.