I read Cal Newport’s Deep Work recently, and found it to be very useful. I’ve been searching for ways to improve my writing processes, and discovering strategies for maximizing my time was attractive.
One part of the book that I found fascinating was purposefully disconnecting. I’ve been on social media in one form or another for my entire adult life, and the thought of totally cutting it out terrified me. But I knew I needed to cut distraction and easy gratification from my life if I wanted to be successful, so I took his advice. Currently, I’m logged out of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. I’ve deleted the apps from my phone. I resist the urge to open them up when I have idle time out of my apartment, instead jotting notes down or reading an article or two. And at home, I watch videos, write, read, or play video games.
The shift has been dramatic. I never quite realized how much time I was spending browsing social sites and looking up pointless nonsense on the internet. There are hours back in my day! Being bored is slowly becoming part of my life again.
And the benefits of new working habits are paying their own dividends. I switched to the Pomodoro method, working for 25 minutes at a time with 5 minute breaks, and I’ve managed to work for longer, and be more engaged when I actually work.
It’s been great, and I really feel like I’ve been improving, even in the short time I’ve adopted these methods.