90 Days of no distractions (Need Accountability)

The goal is to use my phone and tv less. I am not allowed to install distracting apps such podcast apps, video apps (with exception for IT Pro TV or Microsoft Learn) or apps like Reddit. Music apps are allowed they help motivate me. I am not allowed to lookup news. I may have two newsletter or some news thing sent to my mailbox. I can watch/read links that are sent to me. I am not allowed to use these on my personal desktop computer either or any other device unless work related. For the TV portion, I can only watch TV when I am with someone not when I am alone. The final thing I must do daily is post on this forum telling what I did instead. Not posting to the forum is a fail. Days rollover at 9PM meaning I can not post for the day till 9PM up till 1AM. I should include screen time stats for prior day. I also must report and fix any loopholes I find. I am making a no exceptions policy to this.

It doesn’t matter if my house blows up, or if someone passes away. Only real exception is if I am in a coma or all my devices die. Being sick is not an excuse. The reason I say this is in the past every time I have exceptions I abuse them. As a valid exception comes along and I then milk the extension till it has been a two weeks and I have completely given up. Also when it comes to someone passing away I find my phone usage increases sharply to 7 to 8 hours a day. But it does not make me feel better it makes me feel worse. Hence the no exceptions. I had some success with Beeminder a couple years ago. But have since fallen off the wagon. I have tried this on my own many times and failed its time for a change!

The goal of all this is to increase my time with family and friends, increase productivity and be happier.

This goal ends on 06/13/2023. It starts 1 hour after I post. As a backup I created an email beeminder535@gmail.com so I can’t just ghost the forum. Email me if I am slacking off on my posts.


Here is an example of my current screen time. Now I work in IT and have to use my phone at work but I feel like I could bring it down to 3.5 hours even with work.


Well already got the stomach bug that was quick.


You can do it! I’ll be rooting for you

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Good luck! This sounds like a really strict set of goals. Do you expect to derail sometimes, often, never? Can you share some more of the goal’s settings (pledge cap, no-excuses mode, post-derail respite)? Just out of curiosity…

I’m rooting for you as well. Like you, I also had a Beeminder dark age and I’m very glad I managed to get back on the wagon.


Hi, I think your plan will fail because no-one here can keep you accountable (e.g. I would do it, but I would need to create a Beeminder goal because I’m akratic like everyone else here, and I’m just too lazy).

That being said, you could create a goal that would force you posting here!

I’m a huge addict of screens since as long as I can remember. Here are my tips:

  1. Turn off your phone. Get a flip phone and a second SIM card if possible. The additional 5$/month you’ll pay are well worth it. Only turn it on if absolutely necessary or getting out of your house. Turning off my phone by default makes a huge difference for me)
  2. Install the “10-Seconds Focus” extension on your Chrome Browser. In my experience, this works great to prevent addiction to web apps such as Discord, YouTube, Twitter.
  3. Medicate! Yes, medicate as in “medication”. I’ve noticed that my addictive behaviours are less pronounced when I’m using either Cerebrolysin, tea, coffee, Modafinil, nicotine gums, you name it… If you have problems with screentime and always weasel out of restrictions you impose on yourself, there is a non-null possibility of brain problems such as ADHD. Getting diagnosed with ADHD gets you access to medication and allows you to understand yourself a bit better.
  4. Go for a walk

And of course: I’m rooting for you! You got it!


@sheik & @ianminds Do you think I should adjust my goal? If so what do you suggest? Also @sheik here are some responses to some of your recommendations.

  1. Actually tried going to a dumb phone. Did not work as I work in the Tech field. Beyond that the people I message are on various platforms. Signal, Messenger, Discord, iMessage and discord. I don’t really count messaging as a negative.

  2. This looks nice I plan on trying it.

  3. I suspect I may have ADHD. However I also have some anxiety issues so I have never talked to my doctor or a psychologist to see if I do or not. Below are some of the reasons:

A. I have some social anxiety issues and talking to someone I don’t very well stresses me out.

B. I don’t know where to start. Do I talk to a local doctor? Do I go to one of the many online services? It is just overwhelming.

C. I have trust issues, not sure I could trust a online service or even in person.

D. I am worried it will be highly expensive.

  1. I actually find walks do have a calming effect on me so this advice is right on.

Thank you for the advice.

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I was actually in the exact same spot so I feel you, lol. I didn’t trust doctors and I still have trouble due to past issues. I see that you mention Signal, so maybe you are as paranoid as I was before.

I’m curious, why didn’t the dumb phone work? Since maybe you couldn’t answer to co-workers fast enough? I’m contemplating this since a few years but I’m afraid of the move for this reason :frowning:

It cost me 420€ to get diagnosed, but thanks to our social system, I got reimbursed a lot of this.
As for the cost of medication… You would probably get so productive that the benefit is far larger than the $.

I don’t know where you live, so it depends… In France, you can go directly to a a specialist doctor, I believe. In any case, that’s what I did and I had no problem.

If you need the approval of your local doctor, get it, otherwise, you can skip it. The specialist will tell you if you messed up by going to them, and at most, you will lose a few hours.

For ADHD and other “mood” issues, the speciality you’re looking for is “psychiatrist”. Not “neurologist” or “psychologist”. These person work on the same body part, but not exactly in the same way :slightly_smiling_face:

Whether online or not, it does not matter…

What does though is that you find someone smart.

Some doctors are not trustable and will make really terrible mistakes. There are tons of money stuff too… So, you have to make your research after the doctor gives you a protocol.
Yeah I know, it’s bothersome. You don’t have to trust your doctor at first; you can act like a gate-keeper and question their decisions. You don’t have to trust me either; hell; it’s even very probable that I made mistakes in this very message.

I have prepared the official ADHD-rant just for you. I’ll probably copy-paste it on other places :slightly_smiling_face:. Enjoy your read!

ADHD rant

Here are some hard facts about you

  1. You are struggling with over-use of screens
  2. You have social anxiety issues
  3. You have a good hunch that you have ADHD

Note that these issues are self-defending because well, meeting a doctor requires talking to another human. You have to push extremely hard at some point to find a solution.

For each of my problems, there was this pattern:

  1. Suffer from the problem for a few years
  2. Finally understand that I have a problem, complain about it to my family and friends, but act like I don’t have any issue. I just deny it
  3. Finally come to the realisation that I have an issue. That’s the part where I think that my life is over and that I’ll never fix myself and be miserable forever.
  4. Find out that there is a solution after a bit of googling
  5. (optional) self-medicate, do terrible choices
  6. See a doctor, I think they’re dumb or not trustable (not especially the case - that’s just my character), but at least there is some progress
  7. See other doctors, I trust them more
  8. Work with them until I get a solution.
  9. Profit!

For me, the hard part with dealing with any illness is dealing with it in my head. It’s not like: “ho I have trouble concentrating, I guess I have ADHD, I’ll just call a psychiatrist”. Hehe… It’s more like a drawn-out battle with myself over a few years, then a few months of meeting doctors and paperwork.

Here, I’m trying to make yourself skip a few steps like other people did for me.
Maybe it’s not necessary, and you are perfectly fine. Maybe ADHD is a Hoax… I can’t tell. What I can tell though, is that ignoring an issue and not acting on it because of this very issue is dumb.

For instance, I have chronic pain and I didn’t want to see doctors because it was painful to go outside… Well… I had to push through. Now it’s still there but my life is so much better… I wish that I started looking into this 3 years earlier, you know?

If you don’t trust doctors, at least, trust the holy internet. So here’s an exercice for you: just type the name of any of these medication + “reddit” (if you want to feel smart, replace “reddit” by “pubmed”).

There’s a high chance that you find yourself identifying with random people online.

  1. Methylphenidate or Dextroamphetamine (ADHD)
  2. Propranolol (performance/social anxiety)
  3. Prozac (depression and other stuff IIRC)
  4. LSD (depression, and probably tons of other stuff)
  5. Cerebrolysin (depression, anxiety, tons of other neurological problems)
  6. Modafinil (narcolepsy)

Of course they have their downsides and I’m no doctor… I just want to show you that issues that feel like they cannot ever be fixed were solved by researchers decades ago :man_shrugging:.

We live in an age where problems that ruin a life are fixed by a few pills. It’s a pure waste to ignore them. Illness does not happen only to other people. If you have a hunch that you have a problem, it’s not forcibly you thinking too much about yourself.

TL;DR: it’s hard and maybe useless to fix your car’s A/C, but you won’t regret it when you finally take a trip!


Good evening folks,

So my first day I failed. Though I am more looking at it as having to pay for watching a lot of a TV. Main reason was I had a stomach bug and did not feel good. But again, that is a non-excuse so I will derail. But I am still feeling good about the challenge.

I am expecting to derail. But I think it should decrease how often I am on the phone or watching tv since I must pay for the privilege. Currently the cap is $30 but I am thinking of putting it at $10 as I feel that would be better for a “Using phone fee/tv watching fee”.


I felt my rules were not very organized. So I told ChatGPT 4.0 to organize them. I think it did pretty good. I also had it write the markup for me. Let me know with a clearer set of rules if you feel I need to adjust any.

Objective: Decrease phone and TV usage to increase time with family and friends, enhance productivity, and improve overall happiness.

Duration: The goal begins upon posting and ends on 06/13/2023.

Phone and Device Rules:

  1. No installation of distracting apps, including podcast apps, video apps (except for IT Pro TV and Microsoft Learn), or apps like Reddit.
  2. Music apps are allowed for motivation.
  3. No looking up news. Limit news intake to two newsletters or news sources delivered to the mailbox.
  4. Only view or read links sent by others.
  5. No use of distracting apps or websites on personal desktop computers or any other devices unless they are work-related.

TV Rules:

  1. Watch TV only when accompanied by another person (preferably human companionship to encourage meaningful social interactions). Chat GPT argued with me that my dog didnt count which is probably correct.

Daily Reporting:

  1. Post daily on the designated forum to share alternative activities completed that day.
  2. Failure to post constitutes a breach of the rules.
  3. Days roll over at 9 PM; report between 9 PM and 1 AM.
  4. Include screen time statistics from the previous day.
  5. Report and fix any discovered loopholes.

No Exceptions Policy:

  1. No exceptions will be made, regardless of circumstances, such as personal loss or illness.
  2. The only valid exceptions are being in a coma or all devices becoming inoperable.


  1. Utilize the backup email beeminder535@gmail.com to ensure accountability and prevent ghosting the forum.
  2. Community members may email to check in if posts are not being made regularly.

By adhering to these rules, you aim to foster a healthier balance between technology usage and personal connections, ultimately leading to increased happiness and productivity.

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03/15/2023 Day 2
Good evening folks,

How I did Today:
I feel I did pretty good. As you will see my screen time was high on my iphone. But 80% of it was work related. About 2 hours was the forum and being on Beeminder. I did not break any rules today.

What I did instead:
I called and talked to my mom for an hour. I also have been on call with my cousin and brother for about 2 hours. I have also spent some time testing chat GPT 4.0. All I find to be much more fufilling than browsing reddit for 5 hours.

Loopholes Found:
I did not use this loophole today but according to my rules I had to be someone when watching TV. But this statement did no exclude animals. I gave chatGPT my rules and asked if it thought it was okay to count my dog shortie and it said no. So I am going to go with what it said.


On phone did not show all apps because I have work apps on it.

Other Items:
I have added a few more goals a weight lose goal and a zone minutes goal (love this one integrates with Fitbit so cant fudge the numbers). I will mention them here or there when giving my daily updates.


there is the app lock me out which should be pretty powerful

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@sheik I decided to listen to your advice and talk about my anxiety issues and such with a professional. They have started me on a medication to try and help. It’s probably something I should have done years ago but I kept pushing it off. Hoping it helps.


That was sort of what I was getting at. With such an all-encompassing goal you’re bound to derail sometimes, which is fine. But it helps to be prepared for it. Usually the advice would be to be kind to yourself and start slow, but there’s definitely a precedent for doing more hardcore challenges like this (e.g. maniac week). Hang in there!

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Yea I expect to derail multiple times. This is kind of like a hard reset of my screen time usage. After the 90 days I plan on doing something more sustainable long term. But I felt I needed to do something drastic as it was getting bad. But I agree that here on out try to do more sustainable goals. Which I think the goals I created fit the bill for that. Also I got to say I love this community. Everyone is so nice and helpful.

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03/16/2023 Day 3
Good evening folks,

How I did Today:
I did good today only used my phone for work, music and to look up some information about a something I was prescribed.

What I did instead:
I called and talked to my mom for 20 or so minutes. Visted my sister in law with my wife and met my new baby nephew. I cleaned up the bathroom and fridge.

Loopholes Found:
None to report

Yesterday I reported that days screen time. So nothing to report here since I wont know my full usage till tomorrow.

Other Items:
I added a sleep goal a meta goal for my weight goal to make sure I weigh in.

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03/17/2023 Day 4
Good evening folks,

How I did Today:
I did good today only used my phone for work, music and was on Beeminder a while looking through all the help articles.

What I did instead:
Spent time with my wife and mother in law.

Loopholes Found:
None to report

Yesterday: 5hr and 44m

Other Items:
Got some done for zone minutes goal and reading my joy of account book.


03/18/2023 Day 5
Good evening folks,

How I did Today:
Listened to some audios to stuff related to my job field. Followed rules.

What I did instead:
Spent time with my wife.

Loopholes Found:
None to report

Yesterday: 5hr 44 minutes

Other Items:
Had a relaxing day.


03/19/2023 Day 6
Good evening folks,

How I did Today:
Listened to some audios to stuff related to my job field. Though probably going to try to do less of this weekend. My screen time is going to be higher than I would like it to. Though did not break any rules I would set a time cap but some days for work I need my phone a lot. Any ideas on a way to improve my rules to both allow work stuff but limit screen time more?

What I did instead:
Spent time with my wife and brother in law.

Loopholes Found:
None to report

Yesterday: 3hr 12min

Other Items:

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Actually I think I have a plan. So I use an app called forest sometimes. You can have it write to the Apple mindful minutes. So I could create a Beeminder for a specific amount of mindful minutes a week. It is usually highly effective but don’t use it as much as I should. Another goal would force me to use it.