So, if you're like me, and you have a limited time to get stuff done building your ship before you have to go back to work on Monday, you tend to take invasions of your time just a little personally. I've scheduled a time every weekend where I'm not to be disturbed while I work on this site and it's related projects. For the most part, everyone respects this and I get a nice four hour block of time every weekend to dedicate to creating content. But what happens when those invasions of time aren't coming from the outside?
Yes, I'm talking about going down the rabbit hole of time sucks that leave you wondering where time went.
Three things I've identified in my life that send me down that hole.
THE IDIOT BOX
It's real easy to sit down and catch the game, or fall into a House Hunters Marathon (I found a great marathon on TV yesterday on HGTV for a show called Caribbean Life. I love the Caribbean and would move back there tomorrow if I could. Getting my wife to see that beauty up close and personal is a bucket list item of mine.) However, 2 hours later, I'm still watching. What could I have done in that same amount of time in order to get one step closer to getting this ship ready to go?
Instead, I was getting very short term gratification in living vicariously though seeing other peoples' dreams of owning a house in the Caribbean realized. All well, and good, but if I keep losing that kind of time to watching others, I'm no closer to realizing my dream.
Another reminder to turn the TV off. It's entertainment. Nothing wrong with being entertained, when it's appropriate. If you're wanting to work, get away from the distraction.
THE HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL
Social Media is the biggest time water of all. You'll go in there to see if anyone's replied to something of yours, and then it's 20 minutes before you get out. That adds up. Stop checking social media every 20 minutes to see if people liked your stuff. It will still be there later. What, you think Facebook is going to forget you exist?
I use Hootsuite to schedule posts so I don't actually have to go IN there, and I schedule a time every day when I do just to check and reply. Then I'm out. Period. If you stay in that hole, you'll find another reason to stay in that hole, and you'll never get anything done.
My one failing is the phone. I'll check it almost out of reflex when I have nothing else to do. My alternate is to check my RSS feeds and save posts that I might want to expound on later in my Evernote. I find that to be a more productive use of my time.
I'm a news junkie. Right now as I type this, I know there is a huge fight going on in the Senate on C-SPAN, and there's a massive rally in DC. I want to see the fight in the Senate, because of the politics of it. I really don't have the time if I want to accomplish things today. I know some people that turn on the news as some kind of background noise, and I don't get how they do that. I know if I fracture my attention, I'll never get things done to my satisfaction. So when I'm working on writing, there's nothing else going on in the room. Just me, a blank sheet of 'paper' in Pages, and those saved articles in Evernote.
You have to know what distracts you into giving up time you can't get back, and making sure those distractions get nuked.
What distracts you into forgetting about your ship?