So I sat down to write this post over an hour ago. No lie, an hour ago. Has that ever happened to you? You sit down, ready to focus and get something done, and instead you waste the time doing 8,000,000 other things. I am willing to bet it has, because it happens to me almost every day. In fact, it just did…in the middle of writing this post, I saw that I had gotten and email and I went to check it and check my other mail too! It’s so frustrating. When I sit down here to do work, I am always distracted by the same things. Here are the five biggest offenders…
- Email – Like I said before, if I see that I have gotten an email while I am working on something, I am going to read it. Could I leave well enough alone? Sure, but I don’t. I must know immediately what that email is about. As if Lea Michele is going to email me an invitation to appear on Glee….I mean what do I think is going to be there? Yet it never fails…
- Message Boards – This was a big time drain tonight. I visit a few message boards multiple times a day. Some are scrap, others are Disney message boards. Well about an hour ago, I was visiting my favorite Disney message board and got caught up in reading a 12 page thread about customer service. It had no bearing on my life, just I was engrossed as if I was reading Harry Potter.
- Social Media – Isn’t this true for all of us? We are constantly distracted by Facebooktwitterlinkedingoogle+. It’s something about the immediacy of it all, I feel like I need to see what’s going on every two minutes. This isn’t anything new for any of us, I’m sure…but it’s dragging down my time.
- Pinterest – Oh, Pinterest. I’ve yet to meet someone who has joined Pinterest and NOT thought of it as a huge time drain. It’s a double edge sword though…the pictures are so inspiring, and I feel like I need to see every last one! I mean really…what if I miss the pin of Martha Stewart’s homemade strawberry heart marshmallows???!! Surely, my life would cease to exist. Wouldn’t it?
- Just plain procrastination – Sometimes, when I sit down to work…I just want to do everything else instead. Didn’t I need to clean the grout in the shower? I totally forgot I needed to call my accountant about possible retirement plans…I’ll do it now. The truth is, I’ll find anything to do if I am trying to procrastinate. Well, almost anything. Just not the laundry.
Now, I know what you are thinking: Aaron, there’s a thousand ways to get away from these time drains!! Turn off the internet, write blog posts in a separate program and transfer them. Install one of those time keeper apps. The truth is, I know all of these strategies. I’ve probably posted about them before. Sometimes, in reality though, we just don’t do them. So today I’m putting the job on you (another GREAT procrastination strategy….assign the job to someone else!). You tell me what I should do.
What are your strategies for avoiding time drains? Let us know in the comments below!