A pandemic of distraction has infected us.
Are you busy? Life not simple anymore?
You have things you are yearning to do, but there’s never time?
You can’t lifehack your way to shit-togetherness. Although there’s at least 99 ways to try.
- Receive notifications on your phone.
- Spend a lot of time online.
- Watch a lot of TV/Movies…
… Then you might suffering from the modern condition. I’ll break it down.
PHONE = URGENT?
There is a popular priority management theory to separate your tasks:
- Urgent and Important: These things are not only serious priorities, they are also time-sensitive. A text from your significant other, an email from your boss, or a project/task someone needs right now.
- Important: These tasks are the tasks that matter most to you or your business. These are daily tasks, managerial duties,
- Urgent: This is where you fail. Notifications, emails, phone calls – they can be urgent without being important — in your face, not in your heart. Get to them when the stuff above is done.
- Not Urgent and Not Important: Everything else, aka, what you aren’t getting done, ever.
Sometimes it’s not so easy to prioritize your tasks this way, but it can help you identify distractions… like that Facebook comment someone just made on your photo. GET BACK TO WORK AND CHECK LATER.
Which brings me to my next breakdown.
TIME ONLINE = TIME OFFLIFE
It’s incredibly easy to find yourself in wikipedia freefall or endlessly browsing trashy tabloid sites. That’s OK in moderation, but are you actually moderating yourself?… Why not force yourself to do the creative things you actually want to be doing?
Luckily some people already have solutions:
- Pomodoro Technique – Make an activity list. Put on a timer for 25-minutes. If you get distracted, start the timer again. After 25 uninterrupted minutes, you get 5 minutes to recap and relax. After 2 hours, a longer break!
- Emergent Task Planner – Daily task planner for people who have constant distractions that have to be dealt with.
- Creative Time – The writer of 43folders is known for his awesome productivity tips for artists and creative types.
- Getting Things Done – GTD… if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a cult for geeks that like actionable items and assessment. I only include it because it’s kind of famous.
The essence of this is to decide how you want to spend your time meaningfully, and use the online distractions and videos for your down-time.
VIDEO WATCHING < VIDEO GAMEPLAY < VIDEO CREATION
What a perfect segue!
All I want to say here is that interactive creativity is OK. If you’re online – but making a website or editing photos, that might be your art and expression. Video games are kinda halfway. If you’re playing video games, you’re interacting and learning from the virtual world.
Watching, listening, looking and reading are good for you – but they should be sources of inspiration, not everything you ever do with your life. Take time to accomplish the things that are important to you.