It’s easier than ever before to be distracted. Not only do I have my toddler around when I’m writing most of the time (see this post), I also have internet connection. And I am a bit of a social networking addict.
Facebook and Twitter sit there, mocking me as I write, teasing me with the possibility of new and interesting updates from my friends.
Facebook contains status updates that I want to comment on, messages I simply must read and respond to immediately and a quick turn in a few online Scrabble games.
Twitter, in particular, is a nasty one, though. It has constant updates that I want to respond to, links to articles and blogs that I want to read (I’ll just read this one quickly, then I’ll comment, and by the time I return to Twitter there is another link which I’ll just read quickly, then…) and conversations to be involved in.
Then, of course, there is email. My problem with email is that if I can see a message sitting there, I have to read it. I’m too curious (read: sticky-beakish) to ignore it. And this means I can’t just close down my email program – I mean, I might miss something important. My other problem is that once I read it, I have to respond, because if I don’t I put it out of my mind and forget to do anything about it. Sometimes I won’t respond to friends for weeks on end, simply because I’ve read the email, thought about what I want to say and filed it away in the deep dark depths of my brain, only to emerge again weeks later when I’m cleaning out my inbox and… whoops.
All of this can turn the least likely victim of procrastination (me) into someone who turns every partially stumped idea into an opportunity to do something else.
It is all a matter of self-control, of which I sometimes have none. At times I manage to take away every distraction by going to my parents-in-law’s house and parking myself in their spare room to write while they play with the toddler. Most of the time, though, anyone who uses any form of social networking just has to manage their time extra carefully.
But it’s a wonder I get anything at all done, really.