I have various timers. I use Time Out to remind me to take time away from my screen to walk around, play some violin, lift weights, or just grab a cup of coffee and take a minute to chat with my wife and have a moment with the kids.
If I am deep in thought or work or even some distraction, I will skip my every 10 minute break, but it is a reminder to assess what I am currently doing, and whether it is how I wanna spend my time (side eye look at social media sites).
On my phone I cap my time there as well. Some wellness thing that comes with Samsung phones lets you set the max time you use an app, and I limit my Firefox use. It provides some ways of overrides, but they are happily annoying to use, and so I only use them when there is something I actively need.
I use reddit on firefox, which admittedly is the biggest use of it. I uninstalled the app, and their browser version is annoyingly not built to endlessly navigate nicely. They do this to compel you to use their app, but I like it as it keeps me from descending too deep down that scrolling rabbit hole.
All this is to keep a mental awareness of where I am putting my focus so I can decide on it rather than just let impulse take control. The monkey brain is weak compared to the tsunami of distractions on the internet.
And here you are reading my blog. Are you gaining something from it? Is it enriching you life experience? Are you learning something? It is ok, if you are just wasting your time, just as long as you are appreciating the wasting.
I think that is the thing for me. In moderation I enjoy delving into a pit of distraction, and come out feeling refreshed and perhaps a bit more knowledgable. But sometimes, a day gets washed away chasing the shiny lights in the distance, and I feel disappointed in myself and reflect on not even getting anything out of the experience.
I start my day with a task list of to do items, and admittedly I rarely check off all the boxes, but to look back on the previous day and see a bunch of empty squares and nothing of an enjoyable experience to reflect on encourages me to check myself.