Dave Pell posts about a question we should all ask ourselves, at least those of us who are immersed in technology, and the web a little more than some of the other people we know. “Did the Internet Destroy Me?”:
Did crack turn me into an addict, or did I just have an addictive personality that made crack seem pretty damn fun?
That’s the question.
In my case, the crack is this thing right here. The web. And the symptoms are not confined to addiction but have spread to my current inability to focus on anything longer than the average instant message.
Ok, I feel for you Dave, and I see exactly where your coming from. I myself sometimes suffer from distraction, and believe me, there are a few people who would be happy to tell you that I am a multi-tasking freak. That said, I have a certain work style and flow to my day, one where I am continuously using email, IM & RSS. To me these tools are a good thing. I get more done faster, and I like that. Yes, I feel like I am one of the people who are speeding things up, sorry, I know some folks really don’t like that, but for me, I work at the speed of Greg.
Now to the point, I have to keep this in check as well for myself. There is plenty of writing out there that supports the notion that multi-tasking shreds your ability to focus and can possibly even create some health concerns. So, in an effort to keep things in check, I try to spend a good amount of time “unplugged” and away from the computer, cell phones off, etc at least a little time every day. Sure, thats not enough by itself, so I supplement that with doing healthy things for myself, like going to the gym 3 times a week, no matter what, I give myself that “me time.” A few miles and a good sweat clears the head. If your looking for me during that time, sorry you will have to wait. Regular massage is key as well, to help relax my computer hunched body, it results in total relaxation for both mind and body. I recommend at least one massage per month if you can swing it. Finally, I like to travel regularly, and I find this helps me get away from the “technofuse” of my daily routine. Change of scenery is good, for both business and pleasure.
Here is a practical application, current day: I have been running really hard with work this month, almost to the point that Dave talks about, I am getting busier by the day, and am feeling a little distracted in general. However, I am not worried because this Thursday I am flying to Mexico with Mrs. C to celebrate our friends wedding, and to sit on a beach for a week with hopefully nothing but sunshine, books and good food. You can be sure I wont be continuously checking my email, or answering my phone. This is important, its “me time” and “our time” to chill and rejuvinate. Balance it out for yourself. Control your use of technology or it will control you.