“Distraction is a form of procrastination”.
I read this quote online this morning, posted by @TheMinimalists and found it interesting. It’s something I’ve been grappling with for a while now; a consideration of the multitude of distractions surrounding us. I spent much of the summer reading books by people like Cal Newport, reading around simplicity and focus and finding a deeper life away from the modern world’s distractions of smartphones and social media.
The truth is, places like Twitter offer a writer a place to share work, to get feedback, and to connect with other people who are engaging in the often frustrating and thankless task of putting words down in some kind of coherent order.
But then there’s the distraction. And the enemy of getting anywhere at all: Procrastination. Sometimes, intending to work on a writing idea, I’ve lost countless minutes to responding to a thread on Twitter, only to look up and see my time is up, or my focus has gone.
So this autumn, I committed to making some changes. I took the app off the phone; I stopped receiving email notifications; I upped my security settings. I tried to block out the online world and live more in the real one, to allow some breathing space.
Inevitably, I still log on, to share work or to read the work of others. But I’m finding that I will only do that once I’ve checked in with myself first. When I’ve walked and breathed. When I’ve tasted my strong morning coffee and made conversation with real life people.
When I’ve sat at my desk and written something, anything, that might just count toward the work I really want to do.
Oh yes…I also had some work published over the past few days…here are the links, in case you might want to have a read : )