On Distraction — Flashback Friday

I found this blog post on my Google Drive that I wrote back in September and never posted. Since it’s crunch time in terms of preparing for graduation and “real life”, and I get distracted easily, I thought that I’d finally get around to posting it now.

Lately I’ve started to realize something which, to be honest I think that I’ve always known, that being that I tend to get distracted quite easily, especially when I am reading because while doing so I inevitably some sort of metafiction pops up and I’m taken out of the narrative and onto an internet search adventure that continues onto a wikipedia spiral and next thing I know I am watching a Trevor Noah video on YouTube.

Being easily distracted is tough, but at least with Trevor it is a pleasant distraction.

In any case, to try and combat this tendency I’ve started, or rather restarted, my practice of keeping a notebook close at hand, so that when I get the urge I can make note of it, and then continue on with my reading. This doesn’t always work — I sometimes get stuck philosophizing into my journal — but it is more effective that watching a video of seven different genre cuts of one movie (even if those can also be a blast).

The best thing about this solution to distraction — that is, the solution that putting what is distracting me in to words — is that it makes for excellent material to start writing blog posts about. For example, one of the things that I find amazingly distracting when I’m trying to get work done is that fact that from my bedroom windows I can hear everything that goes on below them and since I live on a busy street, that is a LOT of people that walk by every day. And it’s not just distracting because of the people, but also the cars. Sleeping in on a weekday is impossible, since traffic usually gets backed up and there is an ungodly amount of honking. Even if I didn’t naturally wake up between five and six every day, the traffic is almost like its own alarm clock.

All told, it is almost impossible to get any work done in my bedroom, so for all that I do have a desk, it’s really just a place for my papers and computer to live. The majority of the work I get done is on the couch in my living room, using my lap desk. It’s a little annoying that my actual desk is relegated to being a glorified shelf, but the fact of the matter is that the couch is more comfortable and besides, my psychiatrist has always told me that I shouldn’t study in the same place that I sleep. Coincidentally, this is great advice (good advice? from a psychiatrist? who knew!)

In all seriousness, if I ever want to get proper studying done, avoiding distraction is my best course of action. To that end, I prefer to get my studying done in the library, which is why I occasionally go in to campus on days that I don’t have class, or even a meeting. Getting out of the house is healthy, and as someone who has at times spent days on end going stir crazy but unable to leave because of illness, I can tell you that fresh air really can be the best damned thing sometimes.

I have to admit that this post got away from me for a bit — I got distracted.



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