I’m going to do my damnedest to write this entire post without being wooed away by the buzzes and beeps of my email, Skype, Twitter (and on and on) accounts. If I can do it (oh no, there’s an email now!), you all owe me $5.
Does anyone else have this problem? (oh! another one! This is painful.) I’m trying to write a post, an article, a website – and my email is beeping at me, my phone is buzzing at me, Twitter is tweeting at me, Facebook is dinging at me. The desire to go running to each of these calls is immense. It’s my curiousity…and just a wee bit of ADD. But, all in all, it’s pretty classifiable as an addiction – I jones for the information behind the techno alert, literally. I get high off the fast pace set by my fingers, eyes and brain as I cruise from page to page on my browser and from app to app on my computer.
I’m completely convinced that if I could do what many experts, like Tim Ferriss and Stephen Covey, suggest, I would be much more productive. I’m already pretty gosh darn effective, so just imagine what I could get done in a single hour, let alone a day, if I just stayed put?!
They recommend, in their own ways, that you only check these connective activities 2-3 times PER DAY. And that you schedule these times and stick to the schedule. Whoa….the willpower that would take.
I’m making a pros and cons list:
Pros of only checking email, Twitter, phone, etc. 2-3 times per day
- Increase in productivity
- Greater concentration
- Calmer atmosphere
- Calmer mind (unless I’ve gone mad wondering what I’m missing)
- Less distraction
Cons of only checking email, Twitter, phone, etc. 2-3 times per day
- What if Oprah emails me and says I only have one hour to get back to her, but I’m not due to check my email for another 3 hours?
- I’m already shaking, and I’ve only been practicing this for 15 minutes
- Back to #1, what if I miss something really important?
- I’ll miss the frenetic pace of moving here, here, here and here – in moments.
- By the time I get to check my email, there will be a billion stacked up.
Hmmmmm….this is very interesting. Although every fiber in my being doesn’t want to go to the 2-3 times per day schedule, my only real reasons for staying with my current practices are my addiction and this completely 8th grade fear that I’m going to miss out on something.
If you read the two lists, you can see that the pros list reads slower, more peacefully, it’s almost elegant. The cons list reads like Chicken Little on crack and with an exaggeration problem. I didn’t do that on purpose – I just reread what I wrote and it became painfully clear.
Maybe I’ll try it for a week…but I’ll have to warn all of my clients because they’re used to immediate feedback. Can the world really wait 3 hours for me? This is insanity. You are all witness to a madwoman. And what about meetings? Will I have to schedule my meetings around my email checking times?
Listen, for all of you snickering out there, I don’t eat white sugar or flour, I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs, I’m terrified of internet porn (just look what happened to Duchovny), my 2 year-olds make knitting impossible….this online, internet, emailing mass of activity is my vice (and, funny enough, my profession).
FYI, there have been 20 Twitter updates, 8 emails, 2 phonecalls and 8 Facebook updates in the 30 minutes I’ve been working on this post…and I never veered off the page. And, will you look at that, I feel pretty calm, pretty good. I can check this task off my list.
Eureka! Maybe my own personal answer is this: it doesn’t have to be 2-3 times per day, but I have to abstain per each project. I like that. I’ll get each project done with total concentration, no distractions. My reward is a check into my online social/work world. Nothing will get too backed up (which would only cause further stress.)
I’m psyched and I’m officially starting now…oh, and you all owe my $5.
Anyone else dealing with this? Any good or proven bad solutions?