Day 5 of 56: Distractions!

Today was definitely the fifth day of an extremely long weekend, I just kept getting sidetracked by all these distractions! Mobile games, Tumblr, Facebook, “Mom, stop reading fake news,” Deep Space 9, and hot dogs. I figured by this point in time I’d be well on my way to cleaning up the house, re-organizing, homework, and just productive busywork in general. Nope… distractions.

As I mentioned yesterday, I want to start splitting my time stuck at home between the two cats in the living room and bedroom. I also want to reorganize the house, converting the spare bedroom back to a home office and streaming studio; then I can bring Athena in there and spend quality time while still being able to do stuff.

None of that happened today, because like I said, I kept getting distracted! That inspired today’s post.

Here are 5 of my biggest distractions and how I’m sometimes able to avoid them! (today excluded)

  1. Facebook

    Facebook is by far and large the biggest time-suck out there. We get it, Facebook takes up all your time. I know this, obviously, but I get a warm feeling in my dinosaur brain whenever someone likes, comments on, or shares one of my posts. Which is their entire point.

    Obviously, the easiest way to avoid this distraction is to uninstall the app from your phone. That won’t necessarily stop you from visiting on your computer or through your phone’s browser, but removing that icon removes that muscle memory of opening it when you’re bored.

    Sometimes I’ll move either what page it’s on (page 4 right now), or put it inside a folder. If you don’t keep it in the same spot then you can’t develop that muscle memory.

  2. TV Shows / YouTube / Videos

    This is one of the hardest ones for me. I’ve always been enamored with video whether it was Cartoon Network growing up, or YouTube now. At one point I even considered a career in television production. Part of my problem is I’ll turn something on to be background noise while doing something else, but then I end up only watching it and not doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

    I don’t really feel qualified to provide any sort of guidance on this one; as I’m writing this I’m watching some Jenna & Julien Podcast on YouTube and reading my palm. Earlier today it was Deep Space 9.

    Perhaps the easiest way to avoid this distraction is to designate an area solely to TV and videos separate from the rest of your space. This is one I’m working on: once I rearrange the house I’ll have the consoles and work area in a room with the main TV in another. My living room right now is where everything happens; I eat, watch TV, game, blog, and do homework in this one chair. Creating a space dedicated to gaming, work, and blogging would definitely reduce the time I’m distracted by TV and videos. If possible, give that a shot and let me know in the comments if that works for you.

  3. Mobile / Console Games

    Here’s another one that’s really hard for me: games. As I’ve said before, I play this really dumb mining game and right now there’s an event mine and basically you have to keep your screen on to get the most points to be able to spend to upgrade your mine. Right now next to me my phone is on and I’m keeping an eye on the points so I can upgrade my mine to win this event. Earlier tonight I stopped working on this very post to play Apex with a friend for an hour. I’ve been known to start up Minecraft on the console (my PCs are slow and can’t play it well) and that’s all I do for 10 hours.

    Again, not really qualified at the moment to provide guidance, but I’m really pushing for the separation of areas to sort of help with this. I do know that when I was working I would pay minimal notice to games on my phone because I was doing stuff, and weeknights I could play for an hour or two before I needed to stop and make dinner or do something else. Let me know in the comments if you have any other advice. Until then, I’m gonna keep mining away.

  4. Tumblr / Reddit

    Tumblr and Reddit are two distractions I have in the middle of the day that don’t last too long, I get bored after a little bit with them, but they’re distractions nonetheless. In the mornings, Reddit is something I check after the news just to see another point of what’s going on.

    I got a little disgusted a while ago with Tumblr, so for me it’s easy to ignore and check Reddit or Facebook for memes. Reddit, since it has so much information, causes me to get overwhelmed easily and navigate away.

    Some potential fixes for these distractions are the same as Facebook: uninstall or move it to another folder on your phone. Also prune the subreddits and blogs you follow to make sure you’re getting only information you want and not a lot else.

  5. General Tech Problems

    This may be an IT guy or tinkerer thing, but if I’m on a computer and there’s something I need to do and a problem comes up, I’m going to focus on that problem and any sub-problems that come up. For example, yesterday I got my home Linux server going again. It needed about 400 updates since it’d been offline so long. I quickly got that resolved and my day continued; today I logged into it, noticed it was running a 4 year old version of the OS, and got sucked into figuring out how to upgrade it to the latest version. Then I cleaned up old packages that I no longer needed and started working on hardening some security measures. Did I need to do any of that? No. No, I did not. Did I do any of that? Yes. Yes of course. Because I have a problem.

    If you don’t tinker, this isn’t a problem for you and I wish I could be like you. If you tinker, sorry but you need to figure this one out on your own. Maybe if you tinker enough you’ll eventually come back around to the task at hand, but I just Always. Have. To. Tinker.
    Sorry.

Reflections

I realized while making this post, being distracted and all, that I get distracted pretty easily. I think most of my problems would be fixed if I created a dedicated work/play area (spare bedroom) separate from the relaxing/eating area (living room). Again, like I said yesterday, I already want to change around the house so I’ll be able to report back on that soon. I think part of the problem, too, is that I have a laptop and can use it wherever. Since its charger is in the living room, I’m hesitant to unplug it and move it to different rooms. Either I unplug it all the time or purchase another charger for the different areas; either would allow me to be in different rooms while still using my primary computer.

Shopping list

I didn’t leave the house today, Governor Brown issued a stay-at-home order yesterday, but just for posterity here’s what I will need to get within the next few days.

  • Creamer
    • Cold Stone sweet cream, baby!!!
  • Trash bags
  • Milk
    • Starting to smell a little bit, have half a gallon left
  • Buffalo chicken strips
    • I had the last of those tonight, so good…
  • Cheese
    • About a third of a block left
    • Craving some quesadillas tomorrow already
  • Propane
    • Been out for a while, but if the snow stops soon I’d like to grill some chicken I have since I gross myself out when I cook chicken on the stove
  • Peppermint essential oil
    • May just order on Amazon
    • I have a mouse under my sink, I heard him again last night.
    • I want to get rid of it without killing it, what I’ve found online suggests that peppermint essential oils sprayed around will keep it from coming back.
  • Rubber gloves
    • Cleanup after aforementioned mouse

That’s it for today, sorry for the weirdness.
Stay well, stay home, stay weird, stop them distractions.
Joe

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