Monday, May 11, 2009

distractions, distractions

The single most distracting thing that keeps me from getting work done, beside my own reflection in the mirror, is the internet. I've been paying more attention lately to the amount of time I spend on the web each day, and I'm not shocked, but deeply bothered at how the minutes slip away and turn into big chunks of time. I spend a certain amount of time each day taking care of essential computer tasks, which include : uploading new listings to etsy, communicating with my customers, and printing out ship tags and invoices. Those are the essentials. Then there are the little add-ons: reading blog comments, writing blog posts, monitoring traffic on my web and etsy site, updating my website, and then twittering about everything I just did.

But it doesn't stop there. While I'm uploading etsy listings, I'm sneaking over to the front page to see what fantastic stuff is on there. If I see something cool, I'm off into someone's shop, rooting around in the goods. Twitter has started sucking me off onto all kinds of websites and blogs. Every Wednesday I must read the new horoscopes and Savage Love. And the emails and communications with customers, potential customers, stores, etc, is absolutely endless. If I added up all the time I spend on the web and compared it to the amount of time I spend actually making stuff in the studio, I think I would see I'm losing a day a week just to the interwebs, and a large portion of that to non-essential tasks.

And I don't even LIKE working on the computer very much. It stresses out my neck and makes me feel all starey-eyed.

I'm going to start instituting some severe discipline on myself. I only have a couple of ideas to keep myself on track: Make a list of what HAS to get done on the computer, give myself a time frame to do it in, and don't stop ticking down the list until it's done. No gallivanting off into cute little shops or reading blogs. But I need some more ideas, and I know everyone reading this is guilty of the same type of behavior. So I'm going to do my part in keeping you distracted from what you actually should be doing right now and ask what YOU do to keep yourself on track.

14 comments:

  1. I find I waste a lot of time if I leave my email open and check it every time it dings. So if I really need to get something done, I only allow myself to open my email program every hour. Then I take care of business and close it again. As far as blogs go, I subscribe to the ones I want to keep up with thru the RSS feed that goes directly into my email, so I don't get distracted by all of the other links. And I finally just got too busy to keep up with Facebook and all of the other Internet distractions, so I pretty much just stay off!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well said! I, too, often realize how much time I'm spending online. I keep saying that one day I will reach the "I've had enough" point in my life, move to somewhere rural, have no computer, no email, no phone...and just live without technology! It sounds appealing...but I worry that I'd get tired of it rather quickly! Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It always makes me wonder what would have happened to artists like DaVinci and Picasso if they had had the internet. Maybe they would have Twitter accounts and not so many wonderful paintings.

    lindsay || newyorkwords.net

    ReplyDelete
  4. I put an end time on extraneous computer time. I stick to it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm torn between not wanting any distractions and needing them. I think I do what I do because I am so connected and I wonder how I'd perform if I were more solitary. Thing is, most of my work is done on the computer, so it's not like I'm physically removed from my tools. I'm just here and so are my distractions. When I need to, I just ignore them- which I've been told I can do quite well (not sure if that was a compliment tho).

    ReplyDelete
  6. So true, however, I find that the less time I spend on the internet, I neglect my online work and sales drop. But I get a lot of studio work done. It's a vicious cycle. But I keep telling myself, if I owned a brick and mortar shop, I would be spending countless hours there tending to things other than clay as well. At least here, I can work at all hours and don't have to get dressed necessarily ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lately I am online so much I feel like I am obsessed with myself.

    ReplyDelete
  8. most of what i do is done on the computer using the internet anyway so it isn't much of a distraction. though as much as i've enjoyed commenting and visiting people's blogs, i don't do it as often.

    ReplyDelete
  9. it seems like a black hole of time and then people talk about going on twitter and facebook and i'm sure there'll be new ones and i think, when the hell would i have time for any more than i'm already doing

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hear ya - despite thinking that I was only going to answer emails this morning and then do something/anything else, 3 hours have now lapsed.

    I have been much better about not turning on the computer in the evening though and that has helped a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am guilty, guilty, guilty, just the fact that I am here proves it. I read other's blogs and make comments and that takes way too much time out of my day. I need to limit myself to a certain amount of time and that is it. I've said it before, but now i need to do it. I am thinking that perhaps if I told myself I had to accomplish certain tasks before I allowed myself to get on the computer that might do the trick. I shall see. Thanks for another great post.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So, so true! But then, if I hadn't been wandering (or galavanting) around the interwebs, I never would have found your lovely blog! ;) Sometimes a little galavanting is what keeps me going...

    ReplyDelete
  13. haha, i am currently doing what you're trying to stop doing. i can't help it. i have a list of seriously 20+ things i need to do, and so far, i crossed one thing off. eeK!!! but your blog is worth it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. One thing that works for me is to put a timer on for 1/2 hour. Then I just do work for that whole half hour. I tell my self that I can have a break after working for a whole half hour. Or if I've ben goofing off I know that I've just wasted a whole half hour. It makes me aware and accountable for my time.

    ReplyDelete