Beeminder Forum

How do I Beemind the number of times I open news websites everyday?

I’ve noticed that recently I’ve been opening news websites such as CNBC and others way more often than I rationally wish I should.

Every time I feel bored or am waiting for someone I feel the urge and check the news.

It’s counterproductive and has become a shitty habit I’m willing to kill.

There’s no better way (for me) to change a habit than putting money on the line :slight_smile:

Does anyone know a way to track how many times I open a given set of websites?
The amount of time I spent on them is irrelevant

I use chrome and I’m willing to install pretty much any extension to achieve this (in the mental health VS data privacy tradeoff I’ll prefer to be a healthy open book and exploited by tech companies)

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This is a suggestion that doesn’t involve Beeminder so if you definitely want a Beeminder solution, ignore it and I’m sorry for the spam!

I’ve found the Intention - Stop Mindless Browsing extension to be excellent. I use the Firefox version but it’s the same developer so likely very similar on Chrome, and that link is for Chrome. When I visit a bad site, it first gives me a screen that has options for how long this visit can last for, and when that time is up, there’s an enforced cooldown of 30 seconds I think. I can’t remember exactly how long because the cooldown is enough to make me close the site immediately! There’s an overview at getintention.com.

It claims "No more unconsciously checking endless feeds the moment you’re bored. No more thinking “just 5 minutes” and wasting hours. That’s exactly what it’s done for me.

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Hey Alys!! Thanks a lot!!

I installed the extension and after using it for a while I realized it does the same as RescueTime (which I already use for multiple reasons, including beeminding stuff).
It only helps limit the amount of time spent on distracting websites, not the number of sessions (which was my original goal).

I’ll give this thread some more time but if nothing miraculous pops up here I’ll have to stick with this alternative solution of creating a friction before such websites load + tracking the total amount of time spent.


btw @alys , I spent at least an hour going down the rabbit hole of the creator of the Intent app. Thanks for accidentally introducing him to me.

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Mine is also a Beeminder-less solution that stops me rather than tracking me, I’m afraid.

I found myself over-browsing news websites during the first months of the pandemic and set up a recurring blocking session on freedom.io to keep me from being able to see news on any of my devices at any time except between the hours of 6 and 7 PM (arbitrarily chosen because that used to be the traditional news hour, pre-24-hour cycle) and on Sundays. That way, if there was something I needed to find out about, I could find out about it during the news hour and for the rest of the time, the news just didn’t exist. I got so out of the habit of checking that I just had to open Freedom while writing this post to see if I still had the session or not!

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PS - I had originally created a “less news” graph with Beeminder, when my partner and I were trading off the responsibility of finding out what was going on that we needed to know about ( https://www.beeminder.com/mary/less_new )

but it was manual entry and required not looking at the news for the whole day, rather than tracking each section, so I figured it wouldn’t be helpful for your use case. I’m going to drop that idea in here anyway, though, since it might be useful for someone else who finds this thread later.

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