Understanding the digital distractions. Reasons why we procrastinate (Recorded Live Session)


Procrastination is the time thief. Everytime we try to get some work done, we get distracted by something which takes hours away from our schedule. This plague is ever present and intensifying with every passing day. This transcript goes on to tell us how to manage our distractions, especially digital ones and how to avoid procrastination. 

Procrastination, the time killer

The simplest method to avoid distractions is to avoid procrastination, but this is easier said than done. There are entities all around you whose job is to distract you. Even if one tries their absolute best to avoid distractions, these distractions creep up and eventually get you.

The digital age has and is evolving at a rapid rate, faster than we can comprehend. Along with the technological transformation comes the transformation of digital distractions. 30 years prior, we only had the television and radio which could distract us and they did a good job at it. Today we have the internet and its ever increasing arsenal of content to distract us. 

Much of the work people do nowadays places the internet at its core. This means that the distractions are just a click away. This makes getting rid of distractions much harder. As the internet doesn’t require our brains to be active, we can get lost in our screens for hours before we realise we haven’t got any work done. One tried and tested method to remove distractions from our lives is to remove the source of distraction. For example you can only treat an alcoholic after removing the alcohol altogether. Plan and make a schedule by establishing from first, the number of hours you plan to work and then look back at the end of the day to see whether you’ve accomplished your goals. 


We can only get rid of distractions if we choose to. They will never go away on their own, in fact they will only get worse. We need to cut out everything that will interfere with our work in order to maximise efficiency. Once that is done, we won’t have any other option except to get work done. It’s either that or staring blankly into a wall. 

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Procrastination is a result of distractions. Most people find it tough to merely sit around and do nothing, but you may avoid work by getting involved in other things.

So, removing distractions from the environment is one way to combat procrastination. But it's not as easy as it appears since there are others out there working hard to get your attention elsewhere. Distraction is not a permanent impediment that has to be avoided, like a rock in the road. You'll encounter distraction.

Dirt was referred to as "strange material" by Chesterfield. Distracting is like being attractive at the wrong time. Additionally, technology is always evolving to provide goods that are more and more enticing. This implies that while we get more adept at avoiding one kind of distraction, others, like bacteria with drug resistance, continue to surface.

For instance, television has evolved to the point where, after 50 years, it resembles visual crack. When I was 13 years old, I stopped watching TV because I realized how addictive it was. But I just found out that the average American watches 4 hours of television every day. a quarter of their entire existence.

TV viewership is currently down, but this is mainly because individuals have found more addictive ways to pass the time. And the fact that many of them happen on your computer is what makes them so dangerous. This is not an accident. An rising number of office workers utilize computers that are connected to the Internet, and distractions are always targeted at people who delay.

At one point, I at least just used computers for work. Even though I occasionally dialed up a server to view mail or ftp files, I was frequently offline. I was only allowed to write and program. I now get the impression that a television has been hidden on my desk. The truly addictive things are simply a click away. encountered a stumbling block while working on it? I want to find out what's new online. better verify

Because I didn't see it change, I was able to give in to distraction even after years of vehemently resisting classic time wasters like TV, gaming, and Usenet. The once-secure Internet has increasingly become more dangerous to use. Sometimes after having a cup of tea, checking the news, my email, the news again, and a few emails to react to, I'd realize that it was nearly noon and that I hadn't finished any meaningful work. And it started happening more regularly.

It took me a surprising length of time to realize how distracting the Internet had become because the problem was irregular. I brushed it off in the same way you might brush off an occasional problem. When I was working on a project, interruptions weren't really a problem. They would always bite me when I was deciding what to do next after a task.

It was also difficult to recognize the harm of this new kind of distraction since society standards hadn't yet caught up with it. If I had spent the entire morning watching TV and sitting on the couch, I would have realized rather quickly. That is a recognized red sign, much like drinking by yourself. However, utilizing the Internet continued to feel and appear to be labor-intensive.

But gradually I realized that since the Internet had become so distracting, I needed to start utilizing it differently. Firefox has to be added to my list of well-known time wasters, in essence.

The problem is challenging to fix because the majority of people continue to use the Internet for certain objectives. If you have a drinking issue, you can completely quit drinking. Giving up food won't, however, make you stop overeating. As I had done with other time wasters, I was unable to just avoid the Internet.

I started by using the rules. For example, I might promise myself that I would only use the Internet twice a day. However, these ideas were never carried out. At some point, I would require it more regularly and would need to use it. I would slowly go back to my old ways after that.

The tiny person in your brain must continuously develop the finest defenses for engaging in whatever it is you're trying to stop doing, which is why addictive items must be considered as though they were sentient foes. If a path is left to it, he will find it.

It appears that visibility is the key. The bulk of hazardous behaviors have denial as their primary motivating factor. As a result, you must prevent yourself from unintentionally engaging in the behavior you're trying to stop. As a result, alarms need to go off.

Perhaps software that tracks and controls online distractions will eventually prove to be the most effective way to deal with them. But in the meanwhile, I've found a more extreme solution that absolutely succeeds: assembling a new machine only for online browsing.

I now turn off the wifi on my main computer until I need to send a file or update a website, and I have a second laptop that I use across the room to check my email or browse the internet. It's the device that Steve Huffman used to launch Reddit, which is the cruellest irony. I bought their old laptops from Steve and Alexis' charity auction to support the Y Combinator museum.)

I have a rule that allows me to use that computer and browse the internet as much as I want while doing so. And it appears that's plenty. When I have to cross the room to check my email or browse the internet, I am much more aware of it. I am adequately aware that it is challenging to spend more than an hour online each day, at least in my situation.

Now that I have my primary PC, I can get to work. If you use this method, you might be shocked at how different it seems when your computer isn't connected to the Internet. The strangeness of using a computer just for work frightened me since it showed how much time I must have been lazily squandering.

Wow. I can just work at this pc. I guess I should get to work.

That's the good news. You now put to use your earlier bad behaviors. You're accustomed to putting in long hours in front of a computer. However, no email nor internet connectivity are accessible right now. How will you go forward? You can't just stand there. So you start working.


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