Do you find yourself in need of stimulation and distractions when you know you’ve gotta get something done? Maybe you keep a Twitch or Netflix stream on in the background, but once you turn to look at it, you end up getting even more distracted. Perhaps you start craving the short term satisfaction of watching YouTube, and after one video and the next, you end up down a YouTube vortex and end up finding it hard to snap out of it to do something more productive?
Argh, you just want to get things done.
Installing software to limit the number of hours you can be on any site, but this doesn’t really help you build up the practice of getting your mind on task on its own.
To start building the habit of staying on task yourself, do this:
- Decide on a single task you’d like to accomplish (study, work, reading, take a walk)
- Set a timer for 1 hour
- Turn off all notifications on all your devices: turn on Do Not Disturb!
- Do your task for 1 hour
- Set another time for 30 minutes
- Watch some delicious YouTube/Twitch/Netflix!
Maybe you’ll be thinking of when the hour will be over. Maybe you’ll still be thinking about the video you were watching during your hour. That’s great: it’ll give you a chance to look in anticipation to your next break. You’ll be able to enjoy the stream knowing that you earned it from working for the hour.
You’ll be able to practice giving yourself a reward that you can anticipate and enjoy wholeheartedly without feeling guilty that you should be doing something else. You set the time for yourself, and you gave yourself the joy of satisfaction.
Give it a shot!
You got this.