Matangi regaining control - journal


Hi I’m matangi, 27yr. I’ve been attempting a NoSurf lifestyle for a few years now, with limited success, so I thought I’d journal here to try and hold myself a bit more accountable.

Things I have improved, and am proud of:

  1. Charge phone outside bedroom at night and read/talk with my partner for an hour before going to sleep (I only slip on this one a fortnight or so)

  2. Quit reddit. I used to spend several hours a day on there and now I haven’t been on in 2 weeks and not really missing it. I used to kid myself that there was quality content on certain subreddits, but in reality, most of it was repetitive and scrolling through endless comments. Once I was on there I’d end up spending hours scrolling though stupid memes and askreddit threads.

Things I am still struggling with:

  1. Focus at work. My job has changed quite a bit over the last few years. It used to be quite project oriented with clear instructions and it was easy to organise my tasks for each day without getting distracted. I also wasn’t on the computer much. Now I am working on multi-year computer-based projects with very vague guidelines in an area I have to self-teach in, and I spend my days getting distracted by any website I possibly can. Every time I reach a challenge, it is like my brain freaks out and I immediately try to do anything except the task at hand i.e. mindlessly browse. I feel like I’m ruining my career and making a bad reputation for myself in a small industry.

  2. Picking up my phone whenever I am alone in my thoughts (at home, or waiting in a queue etc.) I have lots of hobbies, but these days I find myself reading more online about my hobbies rather than actually doing them!

Things I’m looking for help with:

  1. Does anyone have advice on how to permanently block websites on chrome on an android phone? I want to keep facebook because my sports groups are organised on there, but somehow I end up in the chrome browser on facebook, making myself feel shitty by comparing my life to other people

  2. Does anyone have good techniques for staying focused in jobs that require “deep work” all day long without deadlines to put pressure on not to procrastinate,



I’m not sure if there’s any app for the browser, but there are other things that can help.

  • you can deinstall the browser on your pnone. Go to settings > applications > find Crome and disable it. If you also have another browser like I do (Samsung Internet), that one can’t exactly be disabled or deleted, but you can go to Google Store, type the browser’s name and click deinstall. It will block the browser (untill you open it again).

  • you can install a blocker app like OffTime. It doesn’t block the internet, but access to the phone itself. I find it better because you can reinstall Chrome and other browsers very easily, and even if you can’t you’d just replace it with something else like playing video games.

As for focusing, I suggest using Pomodoro technique. It’s basically setting a time frame where you work, then around ten minutes of rest (by which I mean actual rest, not browsing) and then continue working. The usual working time frame is around 20min but you can set it by your own liking. The only rule is to have working time - rest time - working time routine, and make sure your working intervals are always the same lenght.

Another thing I can suggest is to replace your surfing habit with something else. Like you wrote, you use your phone whenever you have nothing else to do, which means you have this big empty hole in time you need to fill, and filling it with surfing is the easiest way. Solution to this to replace the internet filling with some other you like and find more productive. Read something (in physical form), listen to music, meditiate, draw, solve sudoku and crosswords, have a chat with someone. Whatever helps you kill time and is not online helps. This works better if you block the net access and “force” yourself to do something else.

Hope this was helpful. I can’t help you with your work but someone else will jump in. Have a look around here, there is a lot of info, journals, blogs and tips you can use to help yourself. Welcome and good luck on your journey. :slight_smile:


I’m not sure if you rely on digital productivity tools a lot at work if so you might be interested in switching to a more analog approach. I find that with simple things like physical calendars, a white board, or a bullet journal I end up getting more done despite all the claims of productivity apps to make me more productive. I think this is related to less technostress associated with software which tends to decrease productivity.

I wrote a post on this concept and why it happens that you might be interested in reading it. You’re not alone and it’s quite a common phenomen experienced by internet users.


@Puella Thanks for the recommendations. I have been using tomato timer/pomodoro this week and it has been working well so long as I can force myself to re-start the 25 min.

@Nik I am definitely going to switch to a bullet journal after the post I saw the other day. I currently have everything online and it is probably leading to me going online more often than I would otherwise.

Well as always it has been a mixed week. I have unfollowed everyone on facebook so my feed is just my sports groups. I just get envy from all my friends doing cool outdoorsy things. I am injured at the moment and I cannot go biking which is really frustrating. I am trying to replace it with other sports, but swimming and yoga are so boring compared to hurtling down a hill :smiley: I deleted the youtube app from my phone as the one in the web browser is clunky so I go on it less now.

Some days I have barely gone on the internet, as I have made myself really busy. Still slipping when I am mentally tired from work and get sucked into the couch vortex. I really need to find an indoor hobby that isn’t surfing/netflix! I like reading, but find that hard when I’m tired. Mind you, it shouldn’t be harder that reading online…right?

I am really realizing how much sleep plays into my productivity/ability to be disciplined about NoSurf. I have been reading Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
by Matthew P. Walker. It made me more aware of how much my shortening of sleep is impacting me during the day, and it is really cyclical. Surfing too much at night = poor nights sleep = more coffee = more anxiety = more surfing = inability to sleep. I am going to try and reduce the amount of caffeine I have during the day as I am addicted to coffee.

Goals for this week:

  1. Continue to not go on reddit ( I’m up to 19 days)
  2. Listen to music on GooglePlay instead of YouTube
  3. Stop tech at 9pm
  4. No caffeinated drinks after 3pm


Doing ok. Trying to spend less than 2 hr on my phone a day, tracked using quality time. Getting under about 50 percent of the time. Going on youtube less but seem to have replaced it with netflix a bit. Have cut back on caffeine a bit


So it has been a long while since I have checked in here. I wish it was because I’d been succeeding on nosurf, but in reality I have been ashamed at being stuck in really bad internet habits. I relapsed with reddit and have been browsing way too much.

I realise that I use the internet to self-soothe my anxiety. Every time something goes wrong, or is difficult at work I find myself turning to the internet - physiologically, probably to get that dopamine hit that makes me feel better. It seems that no matter how many sites I block, I always find something to browse that is not related to the task at hand. And then I feel stressed about not getting my work done, or feeling guilty about wasting my life away on the internet, and it’s an eternal cycle that I can’t seem to break out of.

It’s so frustrating because it is like my life is a dichotomy. One half of me is this life-loving person who loves the outdoors and science and reading. And the other half is like this irritable internet-addicted zombie…I think I have become grumpy and impatient at everyone and everything.

I am going to make some small goals for this week:

  1. No reddit - this site seems to be all or nothing for me!
  2. Use 25 minute pomodoros at work - I bought a timer.


There’s no need to be ashamed. We know how you feel; we’ve all been there before! You can be sure, that everybody understands and nobody will shame you for your behaviour.

But you already knew that, didn’t you? You knew that nobody would shame you for failing to uphold you goals. But you’re still unsure. I know that feeling.

Recently, I’ve started updating my progress journal again. The last entry was two weeks ago, even though I wanted to post on a weekly basis. Why? Because I’ve made zero progress. And that sucks. It really does. You feel ashamed. Two weeks ago, I wrote that I was doing fine. And now, I’m back to square one. I didn’t want to write a new entry because I was ashamed. Sitting down and writing about how much you failed is difficult. But it needs to be done. You can’t just put it off for weeks. By doing so, you’ll be unable to make progress. You can’t get better if you can’t admit that you failed.

I’m going to write that journal entry today. As much as it is going to suck, I’ll do it. I have to do it.

Keep us updated on your progress. Even if you feel ashamed. Work through those feelings. Try to stick to the things you set out to do. And eventually, you’ll be able to tell us, how much progress you’re making and how awesome your life is!