How to Get Work Done in the Most Distracting Time in History


Every now and again, I do a social media fast.

For me, it’s always awesome and I never regret it. It’s like a creativity retreat. A time to clear my mind, rid it of distracting things and, most importantly focus.

To channel my energy towards something productive.

But right now, as I type this, I have five additional windows open on my computer (Don’t tell anybody). 

Twitter, Instagram, Medium, and two publications I follow.

As you can see, I don’t follow my own advice very often. And sometimes, I know that kills my momentum. It pulls me further behind.

I’ve got some bad habits when it comes to the Internet.

We all do. We talk to people as our eyes gaze down at our phones. We text in rooms full of people. We stare idly at screens, hoping they’ll give us something that will distract us from dead-air of boredom.

It’s bad — all bad.

But we all have something we should be doing. Something more important. We all have some kind of work to do.  

That time of distraction could be spent being a better husband. Or learning the guitar. Or creating a business plan you promised to complete this year.

We all have work.

But it’s not until we get hands-deep into our work do we realize that this is where we should’ve been all along. We realize our avoidance was time wasted. That we could’ve gotten a lot further ahead if we’d just put our heads down and focused on the task.

When you’re dedicated to something and you commit to it:

Man. Watch. Out. World.

No one can take you away from your work.

You feel more at peace doing your own thing than being involved in someone else’s drama.

What’s outside of your life becomes irrelevant to you. You become less attached to other people’s lives. Because this isn’t just about technology, this is about gossip and peeking into tidbits of people’s daily living.

Not everything requires our attention or acknowledgment.

Just because someone posts something doesn’t mean we have to acknowledge it. It’s not being a bad friend. We want our friends to be productive, integrated citizens who contribute to life, work on businesses and do great things.

Sometimes, we’re better off not knowing something. Because it steals away time from things that we should be doing.

The work we were put here to do far outweighs how many followers and likes you’ve collected.

But hashtag goals, I know.

Starve yourself of the unnecessary.

These are things we know, secretly. The truth is, we want to be productive. We don’t want to sit hours upon hours on Facebook scrolling. We’d rather be living our lives, tasting new foods, trying things make us feel more lively. But sometimes the cocktail of boredom and uncertainty convinces us to peek over to see what everyone else is doing.

I don’t particularly love when I’m down a rabbit hole on the Internet. I hate having 100 windows open. 

Maybe you don’t either.

Try giving yourself a break. Maybe a week?

Then two weeks?

This is how I stopped drinking alcohol. This also how I changed my dietary habits.

For your work to flourish, sacrifices are necessary.

It’s essential to growth.

Plus, you don’t want to become dependent on what’s keeping you unproductive (the worst thing social media ever did was create a reward system for posting something).

Still, you don’t have to fall into the trap.

Focus on your own stuff.

There’s a peaceful satisfaction in doing the work you’re meant for.

I promise.

Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

I am an author, traveler, and lover of all plantains.