“Even if breaks do not actually make your assignments less boring, the positive effects of combating fatigue and reducing stress will maintain focus, as the overall time engaged in your assignment becomes more rewarding.” — Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen
We have officially reached the point in our society where we are one with technology. We need it to survive. That may seem like a bold statement and it is but, it is true.
I am trying to write this blog, but I keep actively looking for distractions. I keep opening other apps on my phone and when I tell myself to put my phone away and go back to the laptop to write I then immediately go on to Chrome and go on to YouTube because I am so used to trying to avoid work. I am actively writing it now because I am describing my process.
“Limit yourself to a single screen – multiple screens are nice for spreading your work out, but they create distractions,” wrote Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen in Remedies for the Distracted Mind. I use multiple screens all the time. Because I like to believe that if I have one screen to do my work and the other to have background noise that I can concentrate more and get more work done because then I am mixing business with pleasure. Which is the exact opposite of Deep Work and what Cal Newton is trying to say in his book.
This right here is a perfect example of procrastination and time management. This week we had to do a project on project management and the best way utilize our time. Cal Newton wrote in his book Deep Work, “your will is not a manifestation of your character that you can deploy without limit; it’s instead like a muscle that tires.” Actively looking for a distraction is muscle memory and trying to write this blog is me telling myself that I need to do the work and forcing myself to do it. This is not the only time that I need to force myself to sit down and do work. In my other blog I wrote about the vicious stress cycle and how I am very guilty of being a part of it.
We rely on apps for everything. Even time and project management. I do not use apps for time management I prefer to do everything old school by writing it down and having it in my planner while also having sticky notes on my laptop to remind myself which assignments have highest priority.
The fact that we use our phones and technology for everything is actually quite terrifying. “They are the last thing we look at before we sleep each night, and the first thing we reach upon waking,” said Adam Greenfield. This could not be any truer.
I look at my phone before I go to bed to make sure that I don’t miss any emails or notifications I may have gotten and when I wake up I check for the same things to make sure that I am up to date and ready for the day. However, at the same time I also look at my planner and To-Do list so that I can plan the day with what I have to do and what I can continue to procrastinate.
Gazzaley and Rosen said, “If you want to be more productive and creative, and to have more energy, the science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods.” I think Newton disagrees with this because Deep Work is all about setting time aside to make sure you can fully focus on a project. But this quote says you need to break it up so that you do the project but, you should also take breaks.
I think that breaks while doing work is dangerous because when you decide to let yourself take a break you immediately get sucked into the world of social media and distractions. David Rock says that commenting on Facebook or being on Facebook in general is similar to having in person interaction and so that is a good thing to do during your breaks when studying. Technology these days have allowed individuals to get obsessed with being distracted and has created a very short attention span.
“Technology has induced anxiety associated with FOMO, which then causes you to interrupt your work and reorient your attentional resources to the detriment of your performance on that all-important task,” said Gazzaley and Rosen.