Distractions Kill

I’ve been making notes toward a blog post about how valuable and important I’ve found it to avoid distractions, particularly various time-sucks on the internet, most particularly social networks.

In theory it should be perfectly easy to say to yourself, “I’m writing now,” and just avoid anything other than writing until your planned writing session is over. The problem with this is that sometimes writing is difficult and frustrating, and when the going is hard, your subconscious will look for an escape instead of addressing the difficult problem.

If you’re working on the easy, fun parts, no problem. But when you’re really stuck, when something’s not working, or when you need to really focus mentally, these are the times when the little voice in the back of your mind is most likely to whisper, “Maybe just check in on Facebook for just two seconds…”

This whisper is evil. It’s not whispering to you because finding out what’s on Facebook will be good for you. It’s doing that because it’s a convenient excuse to avoid doing hard work.

Recently I found this great blog that basically says everything I intended to say, and offers the same solutions I was going to offer (either write with a non-internet-connected device, or find a way to disable your internet for a set period of time). Rather than write it all out, which would be redundant, I hereby refer you to this very useful and valuable blog post, Working in the Shed.

I don’t know who you are, Matt Gemmell, but thanks for writing this so I don’t have to. Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to look for an old Apple Newton on eBay…

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