The moment you’re getting an email, a Facebook message, like, tweet, Instagram post from a friend of yours, snap or whatever. Doesn’t it feel exciting? Don’t you curious about what’s it about? Feeling the urge to check it out at the very moment you got the notification?
Scrolling your Facebook feed 15 times a day each 20 minutes? Visiting news portals every now and then? Or watching TV every single day after work or school? Maybe you’re feeling you’re missing something important?
You supposed to work on something but then you’re feeling tired. Open up YouTube. You watch some inspiring, interesting Ted talk, another “how to be minimalist” video, just to go through “how to stop procrastinating”, and another “do it now” video (okay sometimes some funny one) just to spent there up to few hours. YT is just an example, it might be just googling something, and then more of things. Or getting lost on Wikipedia pages. Or blogs, or whatever interests you.
Yes. This Is Me.
The biggest urges of mine are FB Messenger, YouTube, and Google. Messenger mostly at my phone. It is not possible to not to check out the message while seeing this green light just on my way to the bathroom. I put the phone few meters from my desk so I don’t see it all the time and it helps somehow. Somehow. In the browser, the messenger goes off while I’m working. I managed to live without it. Not 100% but at most cases, I can resist.
I sometimes go on YouTube just to watch just one video of my favorite polish vlogger (the videos mostly have some English subtitles so you might find it interesting even if you don’t speak Polish). After watching the one, I click next, or go to the main page and see lots of interesting videos (mostly some tips and tricks how to have a better life or so). And the hour or more went by. I don’t really have a solution for that yet. It’s very tempting.
I stopped watching any news, TV when I went to university, so more than 3 years ago. I don’t even have TV-set at my place, and I don’t really want to have it. I blocked Facebook feed with some chrome extension. I wouldn’t go there but I’m still studying, and there are all of the university related information so sometimes just have to check with some news at one group.
I just noticed it is so peaceful to not to think of others, nor compare to others. They might have good looking life or just got the loan for a flat and it’s not theirs yet, or a car. Or a better job. Reading of bad things that are happening around the world is not pleasant to me. It happened already. Why would we even care about something that happened 2000 kilometers from our country? That’s pity that bad people live there, but they are all around. If something happens to me, it will happen anyway. Too bad. Listening to it just destroys the willingness to be a good person, to create good stuff for others, distracts from the important.
I noticed also that not replying for message/event or whatever, doesn’t make anyone like me less. It doesn’t make the world fall apart. And it is not impossible to do. However, it might seem hard at first. Just don’t reply for 15 min. Then wait for 1hr with replying. Notice how you’re feeling about it. And then let it go. It’s not a bad feeling. It’s just how it works if you don’t control it.
I’m trying to fight all of the distractions that happens to me. It’s not easy. Especially if the information is around all the time. Especially that I work on a computer all day long. I can get the information so easily. I have to do it during my work hours. It’s so tempting to check out what’s interesting for me instead of starting a quite hard task. I’m getting so creative of what could I check out then instead. And I’m not getting the work done after all. And then it becomes a problem.
Fortunately, that is not a case every day. Sometimes I can force myself to close all of those tabs on my browser, get interested in the task and work without breaks all day long. Push the work forward somehow. Sometimes.
Some people say they can work with no charm multitasking The truth is they are single tasking during very short periods of time, and they mind is loaded more than if they would be focused at work only. Sometimes it’s good to keep the engagement while working on a boring and easy task. The same way I am able to watch YouTube videos and cleaning dishes. Or listening to music and doing laundry. But those tasks I mastered very well.
“Multitaskers” could just cut the distraction off for the very difficult tasks. Some people can cut it off easily. But for others, it’s hard and tempting. They might have just better reason to cut it off and focus on the task. I’m feeling a bit jealous about it. I’d love to have that ability. But I also discovered the better programmer I am, the easier is to turn all unnecessary stuff off and focus on delivering the value.
I think the best solution would be to focus as much as I’m able to and try to learn and code as much as I can during my free time. Schedule some time for learning, after that schedule some leisure time. Turn off Wi-Fi at the phone so it doesn’t receive any notification. Only urgent calls (which mostly are not happening). Sometimes I would give myself some slow day to recover, let go bad feelings about resting and not doing the work (I feel bad about myself, as being lazy sometimes, what is actually not good for having peace in life).
It’s necessary sometimes to turn off the internet, or even computer/ phone. Read some book. Meditate. Go for a walk. Maybe even discover a new place. Cook some delicious dish. Many more opportunities to do out there!
So let’s turn off the Wi-Fi,
PS. Will you turn the devices off?
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