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Tag Archives: internet addiction

Today I’m a bit sleepy and my neck and shoulders are already tight.  I know that if I spend all day at the keyboard today, I’m going to end up with neck spasms and a headache.  But I still want to have a productive day, so here’s the plan.  I’m going to work in 20-minute bursts, and I’m going to take my breaks AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER.  No PC gaming, Facebook or long personal emails today.

Ideas for breaks: Go for a walk, practice bass, do a little housework, gardening, (I’ve already done my exercise for the day), go for another walk…

I’ll be darting in, hovering for 20 minutes of focused activity, and darting away again.  I’m going to call today’s plan: Working Hummingbird Style.

If I can be disciplined about this, I can still get as much work done as in a typical day.  Only my Facebook friends will notice a difference.  😉



Lately I’ve read a lot of articles and spoken to a few people about productivity.  A few common themes keep popping up.

First, Go Directly To Work.

Don’t start your day by checking your email.  You get dragged into someone else’s priorities, or you allow yourself to indulge in lengthy personal conversations.  Instead, start your day by opening your most important task first.  And “a quick win in the morning sets the right tone for the rest of the day.” (Jonathan at Illuminated Mind)  This is a great habit to develop.

Just Start

Starting is often the hardest part of a task.  Just starting, without over-thinking things, moves you past the anxiety that you’re holding for that task, and gets you immersed in the project again.  Once you’ve started, things are clearer and less scary.  I am hearing this advice from a lot of different sources lately, and it’s good advice.

Resolving to finish something is a big scary goal.  Just resolve to start.  Then start.  Then keep starting – it gets easier – until it’s finished.

The Power of Focus

Forget multitasking.  Constant distractions and task-switching leads to shallow thinking and makes creativity impossible.  Spend as much of your day as possible on your #1 priority.  This doesn’t mean don’t take breaks – just don’t spread your energy around.  Make sure your breaks are actually rejuvenating.

Actively control distractions.  Change your environment if you have to.  Lock out access to Facebook and other highly-addictive entertainments.


I should have specific, clearly-defined, prioritized goals.  With deadlines.  And plans.  I don’t have these.  Why should I have these?


Imagine yourself living by the habits that you most want to cultivate.  Don’t imagine yourself as rich and successful, that can lead to disappointment.    This is about how you live and work, day to day.  And remind yourself every day about your long-term goals, and how today’s tasks serve those goals.

“I try to spend the first few minutes of my day thinking about the life that I’m creating, the people that I’m serving and why I care about what I do. Keeping those things in the front of my mind helps me stay synced with my reason why.” (Jonathan at Illuminated Mind, again)

It’s not just procrastination. I’m also an internet addict, info-tainment junkie, whatever you want to call it. Even on weekends when I have nothing stressful to do, I’m drawn to the email, the Facebook, the blogs.

I’ve been focusing on my procrastinating tendencies, and I’ve been half-successful. At this point, my biggest barrier to success is my constant need for web-borne entertainment and screen-mediated social interactions.

Hypothesis: It’s not just procrastination. In order to make progress on my work habits, I need to address internet addiction.

Is “Internet Addiction” real?

Read More »

I’ve been all over the place lately, I need to check in with the local chapter of Procrastinators Anonymous.  That’s me and you.  This meeting shall now come to order.

What have I learned?  That:

  • when I stop using the timer and filling in the Unschedule, my work habits and productivity suffer precipitously.
  • I procrastinate when a project hits an unexpected road block, when a difficult decision is required, or when I discover that more work than I had planned on is required.
  • When “important” non-work things (like blogging about election issues) creep into my work day, they quickly become permanent additions to my routine (because they’re more fun than real work) and take up increasingly more of my time.
  • When I “fall off the wagon,” I can’t expect to just snap back to the level of productivity that I had attained before, I may have to start again at the beginning and work my way back up.
  • If I spend my “work” and “guilt-free play” periods all at the computer without getting up, I get lethargic and dopey and lose the will to be productive.  No matter what my guilt-free play entails, I should get up and re-invigorate myself every 30mins or so!
  • Daily exercise is great for avoiding headaches and getting quality sleep.
  • BEFORE I sit down at the computer, I should decide what I’m here to DO, and then start the timer (even for play).  Otherwise, I can waste hours on email, FB, newspaper sites and websurfing before I even look at my to-do list.
  • Important personal projects, if I’m going to get them done, should switch between “guilt-free play” activities and “work” activities depending on my level of enthusiasm/procrastination for them.  Most personal projects start out as the former and morph into the latter before completion.
Further thoughts:

  • When “important” non-work things come up and have to be done in the work day, I should treat them as either work or guilt-free play: in either case, using the timer, and taking care to balance priorities.  This will allow me to maintain those good habits, and not accidentally vasta the diem.  😉

The past six months have been pretty good.  I’m getting the work done, but my work habits have not progressed beyond “passable.”  July in particular was a set-back.  For some reason, I got almost nothing done.  Maybe because I knew I was ahead for the year (I’m not anymore).  Maybe because there was a lot going on in my avocational pursuits – I had a concert to plan for my band, for example.  But it’s not like I didn’t have time to work on those things outside of work hours.

I need to get back on the wagon, and remember that “it’s all my time.”  I could make a decent living working 4 hours per day, and put the rest of my time towards things that I say are important to me.  Up til now, if you had statistics on how I spend my time, you’d think that Facebook, Youtube and email are the things I hold most dear.

Procrastination.  Grave.  Opportunities.

I have to remind myself of a few things:

  • I don’t get paid for sitting at my desk, I get paid for doing the work.
  • I can finish the work early and spend the rest of the day however I want, guilt-free.
  • It’s all my time.
  • I have plenty of time between 9am and 5pm to make a living, keep fit, practice bass and write games, if only I would take an organized and disciplined approach to my time!  *kicks self in ass*

Time to get to work.

-Johnny 0.

Shamelessly grabbed from The Globe and Mail:

Stop The Internet, I Want To Get Off

In the search for unlimited information and connectivity, [says Nicholas Carr in The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains], we have also provided ourselves with an infinite scope for distraction. Or as Carr puts it: “When carried into the realm of the intellect, the industrial ideal of efficiency poses a potentially mortal threat to the pastoral ideal of contemplative thought.”

Carr isn’t saying technology is evil – he’s saying that sometimes, in order to think properly, we need to cut ourselves off. In other words, a well-rounded mind requires a delicate balance of speed and deliberation.

“There needs to be time for efficient data collection and time for inefficient contemplation, time to operate the machine and time to sit idly in the garden,” he writes. “We need to work in Google’s ‘world of numbers,’ but we also need to be able to retreat to Sleepy Hollow.”

Read the whole article here – if you have the attention span for 900 words, that is: Stop The Internet, I Want To Get Off (Globe and Mail)

-Johnny 0.