Remember the days when your parents used to tell you don’t do your homework while watching TV; and you used to try arguing your way that it did not distract you. Guess what, it probably did distract you. I’m thinking back to that time and today about 14 years later, I’m saying to myself it’s great not being distracted by television anymore. Well what I didn’t realize until recently is that I am distracted more today than I was in my teenage years trying to complete my homework while watching my favorite tv show. Today distraction is all around me. Back in the late nineties, I did my homework on a notebook and if unwanted distraction came my way I could have easily find some isolated location. Well in my line of work, I can’t really do that. My notebook is no longer a stack of paper joined together by spiral wires. The work mead is not written on the front cover, but rather the word ASUS. Yes, I’m a windows and PC guy. When I take my notebook to a secluded I take the distraction with me because they all come from the notebook. I might be in be middle of writing an article or paper and suddenly a message pops up notifying me that I’ve received. I immediately try pressing the close button but miss and inadvertently click on the popup immediately opening email message. OK, the message is open now; I guess I can read it quickly to get back to work. Now it’s about 15 – 20 later and I’ve found myself on YouTube watching a video of Kel and Peel: Suburban zombies. Come to think of it this usually happens to me when working late at night.
Well this might seem extreme, but is it? I think there are others who experience something similar. What are those daily distractions that keep eating away at our capacity to be productive? Need I mention social media? How many times have we seen the message that a friend has just upload some new photos. How many times have you passed off this message to continue with your work? It seems like every day there is a new social media platform and if a not a platform, then a new tool to make easier management of an existing platform.
What about our smartphones, a small handheld device which contains everything possible to keep us distracted. You know what’s worse, we cannot see ourselves living without it, yet we can’t seem to look pass the distractions emanating from it. At least with the laptop computer, the distractions are gone when we’re off the computer. On the other hand, we take the phone to bed and wake up to it first thing in the morning. If fact the phone may be the one who wakes us up with the first of the many distractions that will fill our day.
Hey sorry, I’ve got to go now; my phone has just distracted me with an international call from a childhood friend. Come on now, it’s international and it’s from my CHILDHOOD friend. What would you do? My next post would be how to control those distractions. Hopefully I would have learnt the how by the time I write my next post.