Minimising Computer Distraction

Screen Shot
Following on from my previous post, I’ve been decluttering my computer today. This is not so much about weeding files, more about minimising the potential for distraction. I’ve long known that I have some bad habits, flicking over to check email in the middle of composing a newsletter, checking the weather forecast in the middle of reading an email etc etc. So, I have just set myself a challenge to use the computer in a much more deliberate way.

I’ve always been pretty good at filing, but tend to put current documents on the desktop, and they can build up, so I have just filed all of them. Now when I log on to my computer I just see my beautiful screen saver – above – plus the dock along the foot of the screen with the icons for my applications – only those I use on a weekly basis (I just noticed I have Skype there, that needs to go).

For a long time I have had my computer set so that no applications open on start-up. That way I can make a deliberate choice as to which task I do first. However, I usually leave the application open once I’ve finished and gone on to another task, in case I want to do more later on, but that means it is very easy to flick back and forth and it has become an automatic behaviour so today I have made the decision not to keep my email application open, nor any other application I am not using for the current task. It will be interesting to see how this goes – perhaps I should have waited to write this post until I’ve tried it for a day or two.

Another tip I read is to close all the tabs in your browser that you are not using. I’ve always kept at least two open, this website plus the BBC for news, weather, radio and iPlayer. I’m going to experiment with closing them and making a deliberate decision to look at the news etc.

This all means that it will take an extra few seconds to open up each application when I want to use it, but I hope I’m going to be more focussed and therefore save time, and I’m sure I’ll feel better for cutting out the distractions. Plus I’m just gonna switch the darned thing off more!

P.S. Love to know if you have any tips.

Print Friendly