This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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February 2009
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The Leech Returns

Last week my laptop for work melted down and the tech support guys had to reimage my hard drive. Now, having had this happen about once a year for the last few years, I’ve grown smart and keep most of my important documents and such on the network, not on the laptop, so I didn’t lose very much, and what I did lose wasn’t really important.

Other than time. I did lose almost a day to waiting for the computer to get reimaged, then reinstalling software I use on a regular basis and getting all my preferences set back to how I like them, and rebookmarking things I need frequently, etc.

But I delayed slightly on the one last thing I needed to install again… yesterday I put LeechBlock back on my Firefox. I’ve used it for over a year to control my own weaknesses. I’m a news junkie. Google Reader is addictive. It is easy to get lost in there when you shouldn’t. And before you even know it you have wasted more time than you would have wanted. This kind of thing never stopped me from getting things done when things really needed to get done, but I could feel it drawing me in during times when I’m sure I could have done better things with my time.

So I’ve had it set to restrict me from that site (and a variety of others) to only 30 minutes during work hours. (And to not let me in to the settings to change it if I’ve hit my limits.) I usually use those minutes while eating lunch at my desk. But the rest of the time, no fun websites, not even for a “quick glance”.

Yeah, yeah, I know the same could be achieved by a little thing called “willpower”. And I know there are plenty of ways around it that are dead simple. But it is just that little nag that says, “No, not right now, you can wait until you get home…” that is helpful. It is a good tool.

And in the two days or so I didn’t have it set up, I don’t think I got sucked in too much, I probably wouldn’t even have triggered the 30 minute limit. But it is still good to have it on. Just to keep me honest.