I’m Distracted

So many nights I go home discouraged and numb, with the sickening feeling that I accomplished nothing and wasted my workday reading emails and contemplating my navel. Recently, I read an article on productivity in business today. The piece decried the decline of work quality because of email, texting, Facebook and time-wasting games like Words with Friends. Technology has become an office curse and I see a trend in crackdowns to curb the time wasters.

I am working on my own habits to combat my personal drift. What I have found to be most useful is preparing an agenda for myself the night before and then writing a journal entry at the end of the day, putting on paper all that I have done during the workday.

This exercise of recounting how I spent my day lets me know I have actually done something meaningful with my minutes. Knowing that I will be honest in my journal is a check on ennui. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment and confidence that I am more than a lazy sloth. I find I am a lot more productive than I thought I was. I give myself credit if I worked out or had a caring conversation. If I had a cookie, or God forbid, an ice cream, I mention it. The world won’t come to an end for a few hundred dumb calories.

The curse of the driven person is thinking he constantly falls short. For the mildly driven, like me, the nagging feeling is that I spent the day in a daze.

I write this blog partly because advertisers pay for the privilege of hooking into Swarf’s fan base. It gives me an impetus to create, but I have found the secret of good prose for me is removing myself from the real hard trying. My best work comes when I allow the blog to “write itself.” The best book on the creative process of writing I’ve come across is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Her view is that you must release yourself from your trying-so-hard self to allow the unconscious mind to take over the pencil. I often tell myself to let the pencil write the blog. While I’ve never set up a screw machine or written a computer program, I imagine the process is similar. Free yourself up so that your spark can ignite the project. I hope you go to sleep feeling fulfilled.

Question: How do you attain productivity in the Facebook world?

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6 thoughts on “I’m Distracted

  1. Bill

    I check my facebook once a year, give or take a few months. No need for it. I also write down my activities when I am in the office; it is a great help.

  2. Ted Roberts

    Lloyd, If I am tracking my activities during the day, do I get a plus or a minus for reading your blog?

  3. Jeff Scott

    In a Screw Machine Shop? Get real…..anyone who is stupid enough to bring their computer in would end buying a new one because of the shop floor environment plus….they’d be on unemployment.
    As for the office staff…..you block that sort of thing on your company server!

  4. Tom

    I have to force myself to check Facebook once a month because somehow all my friends think that is an acceptable way to communicate with people. Honesty I find it disgustingly inpersonal. Texting was bad enough but at least you had to know my phone number.


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