Every second, ask yourself: What is the purpose of this moment?
You are sitting in front of your computer, typing away trying to curb the fierceness of your thoughts, when an urge to look up an online sale comes along. And you step on the breaks of a 100 mile per hour train to full stop to skip to the next open tab and look for a few seconds. When you cannot find the item you want quick enough, you jump back to the previous tab, but the train is not there anymore. It exploded, and it took the tracks with it. And you try to go back to the online store tab but you realize you don’t even really need the item, so you go to where all days go to die: Social Media.
No matter how scrambled your brain is, or how scattered your ideas, you can always head back to the purgatory that is social media and scroll your day away and feel, if not slightly accomplished, at least normal.
May I suggest an alternative?
With everything you do, ask yourself “what is the purpose of being here?” In this moment, why did I set out to do? When you opened the lid of your laptop, what was the plan? What compelled you to do it? Were you aiming for a productive morning of writing before you ended up on an online store and then on social media? Make it your life’s mission to protect that purpose at all costs. No one is going to tell you what to do. Every truly difficult endeavor is yours only to traverse. There are no parents, teachers or bosses pointing you in the right direction. You have to point yourself, to force yourself to walk the way.
Find some tips on productivity elsewhere on my blog. But always try to only keep at hand the tools necessary to complete the task you set out to do, and nothing else. One thing at a time is way better for productivity than all at once. There is no such thing as multiple priorities running in parallel. The word priority is derived from the Latin prioritas, meaning “first in rank, order, or dignity.” The word itself contradicts having multiple priorities. There can only be one priority.
Do less, better.