I have a problem, the same problem that a lot of people with a 9-5 office job have. Every couple of hours I'll find an excuse to wind up on Hacker News or Reddit.
It's easy to justify. You'll even tell yourself that taking a break from your goals to catch up on the Ukraine Crisis is actually "productive" in some twisted way. You're taught in elementary school to keep up with current events... And school was right. You should be reasonably informed about what's going on in the world, but when it becomes an addiction to news consumption, it's a serious problem and it's going to negatively affect your productivity. Any addiction to consumption is going to negatively affect your productivity.
I've tried to stop this consumption cold turkey, but it's not realistic. I need to keep up with the news at least a bit, and so the addiction continues.
Something that I DON'T do very often is leave a comment on the articles I read. After I get that consumption high I'm usually satisfied. Leaving a helpful opinion or practicing my debating skills isn't necessary at this point, I'll quander to myself. And then I'll move on to the next article.
Lately I've implemented a rule for myself that seems to finally keep me from wasting hours idly browsing the news.
If I decide to read something, or consume any sort of information, I am now obligated to leave a comment on it. Even if the content is something completely new and out of my comfort zone, I have to form some sort of quandary or productive criticism.
It's kept me from clicking through so many articles because I realize that the second I click I will have the obligation to spend my valuable creative energy writing a comment. Now I only click on headlines that are very relevant to myself, and I don't waste time wading through the crap of the Internet.
So if you have a problem with consumption and feel like you could give more back to the discussion, I urge you to try giving the commenting rule a try. Start on this blog post! Tell me how you feel about cutting down on mindless information consumption, and throw those words into that white comment box!