How can I stop myself from using internet for personal use at work?


I am currently a part-time cashier at the local lumber store. I have a problem with internet usage at work. When I first started this job, it was around August of this year. Back then, there were many customers coming in for their projects.

But if you ever worked in the lumber store, you know how things get slow during fall to winter times. Our store becomes a dead zone with couple of customers here and there. The store closes at 6 pm, but around 4:30 is when the dead zone hits. This is when I find myself using the store computer to browse the internet.

Our company's internet is not dedicated network and meant for a heavy usage, and I actually managed to crash the entire network for the store once while doing college homework. It's a winter break from college these days, and I been using it for webcomics.

Just now, I got a friendly email from my manager again about the internet usage. I feel so ashamed of myself and quite worried about my future career, whatever that may be.

What I can do to stop myself from keep doing this? Any advice (Besides "Just stop using it") would be greatly appreciated.

Practice self control

Find some other way to entertain yourself, like a book, games on your phone, a newspaper, cleaning the store. The possibilities are endless.


A friendly email from your manager was a nice warning but failure to comply could result in your manager's tolerance vanishing swiftly. Unless you seek and receive permission from your manager to view webcomics during slow periods you are veering towards getting into trouble and possibly even losing your job.

Read a book.
I always have a book with me, so I can read while taking the bus/train to work, while eating lunch, at down-times , while using the bathroom and finally while trying to go to sleep in the evening.
Books are great! I personally read Science-Fiction and Fantasy, but whatever you find interesting, there are probably books about it.

It could also help you practice self-control and stay away from the internet.

I could offer you some choice bits of advice on that front, but since I'm currently posting this at work most of it would just be incredibly hypocritical of me so I'll just say keep it light and only log in for five minutes every couple of hours, like a smoker on a cig break.

I guessing you are not pay as you go or have bad reception to used your phone for online usage?

The only alternative as the above people say, bring a book or a 3DS etc or what is the exact rule about what to do on quiet period?

Ask your manager if there is anything else you can do (for the business) when it gets a bit slow (take inventory, check for knackered stock, etc.).

Get a Switch or something and play that at work.

If you want to stay productive go around the store in your general area and see if there's anything that needs to be cleaned or tidied up. Clean windows, wipe down the counter, sweep/mop the floor, organize things, change garbage bags.

But take your time doing it, that way you don't blow through all these chores right away and you still have stuff to do. It'll keep you busy and managers love to see people willingly spend their downtime cleaning/improving their workplace instead of just sitting around doing nothing.

So long as your phone has reception and your contract provides decent data transfer volume, you can probably get by by using USB tether or just running your phone as a mobile hotspot (assuming these options are available in your phone) if the store's computer is a laptop. Other than that, best I can think of is, as others have already said, find an alternative way to keep yourself busy.

Incidentally... Lumber store clerk? Does that mean you give people wood? :D

What do you want to accomplish out of life? What areas do you want to better yourself? Since you're there to work, definitely see to anything that needs to be cleaned. But after that, reading a book or listening to podcast to something related to your goal (if your work allows) is something I would do.

When I try to quit something, telling myself I need to stop is too daunting. Instead, I tell myself "Not right now. I'll wait a bit." That's more manageable.

listen to music, bring headphones, play a guitar. or just play games on your phone turn off the phone's wifi.

I would load my phone/tablet with some tv series to kill some time, netflix has an option to download if data usage is an issue or just read some comics from my phone if it's not.

Ask your manager to fire you if they catch you on the internet. Should do the trick

Seriously though, Try doing it incrementally. Quitting cold turkey might work for a while, but there's a chance you'll just end up doing what is "comfortable" to do (going back to old habits).
If doing something not work-related is fine as long as it's not on the internet, consider bringing something to distract you at work. A book, some games, maybe work on a hobby like juggling or knitting (idk)
I've never been to a lumber store so I don't know if it's feasible, but if you feel like you should be engaging in work-related activities only, try coming up with new ways to help around the store, even if in ways that don't really involve your job

I'm assuming you use the store's internet in the first place because browsing the internet on your phone is not an option

I had a similar situation. During the quiet times at work I would just pull out my phone and do some internet browsing. One day I had left my phone at home and it really was amazing how much more I got done in a day because I had to find other things to occupy my time. So I started leaving my phone at home, I was also getting out earlier because I was filling the time I'd be on my phone with the little jobs that I'd usually do at the end of the day.

Where is the computer at work? Is it where you are stationed? If not then try and keep away from its location as much as possible. Make a list, mental or physical, of jobs that need doing and when you start getting the internet itch go and do one of those jobs.

Self-restraint and do not make the internet browser or anything that's related to your work or entertainment easily accessible.


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