I watched a TED talk once (I love TED talks!) in which some scientist or doctor or something said that people most likely to reach their goals A. actually outline their goals (rather than keep them as vague ideas just in their heads) and B. don’t necessarily have more self control than those people who fail but, rather, put things in place to take them out of the path of temptation, so they don’t need to fight themselves in the first place.
Well, I like setting myself goals, and I’m not particularly good at sticking to them, but this new thinking resonated with me. As such, I have a new ploy to stop myself from getting distracted on the internet when I should be writing, which is (drumroll please!): disconnecting the internet before I go to bed.
Genius, right? Okay, well, to some people that may sound daft, or obvious, and certainly not worthy of a blog post, but hear me out.
Turning off the Internet before bed means that you’ve already got a good chance of success before you even begin your day. Going offline is so much harder half way through the day, when you’re already lost in a sea of cat GIFs on Tumblr.
Don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security, thinking you’ve sorted out your self control and can stay connected to the internet while still “being good” and not checking it. You’ll soon see those minutes start to slip again. Why? Because there’s little to no temptation when you have nothing to do but fall asleep, but mega temptation when you’re being pulled in two directions by what you should be doing and what you want to do.
I think you (me/we) should be aware of the temptation, and acknowledge it. Instead of telling ourselves that it won’t be a problem we should plan ahead so it’s not such a big problem when it does inevitably hit.
So, you’ve followed the plan and turned off the Wifi before bed, got up and got stuff done, but now you actually need to get online for genuine work things? No problem. Write yourself a list of things you need to do, figure out how much time they would take, and then only go online for those things, and only for as long as you’ve allocated. Time flies a lot less when you’re paying attention to it, and you have to justify your procrastination. Plus, watching random videos on YouTube will seem so much more fun when you have a well earned day off and are therefore allowing yourself free reign of the internet for twenty four hours. (Just don’t forget to disconnect at the day’s end, or risk sabotaging yourself for the next day.) Added benefit: no nagging guilt that you should be doing something else.
Told you it was genius!
Recommended (Free!) Productivity Apps:
Rescue Time (Tells you where your time is going)
Self Restraint (Blocks distracting websites)