Tuesday, 13 January 2009

I'm easily distracted

I have said it before; I really enjoy being a freelancer, although some days are harder than others. But that's life, right? The thing is; I'm very easily distracted, especially by the big mighty Internet. I do a lot of research online, and I'm a frequent user of online dictionaries (this one too), but there's also so much fun going on. I don't even want to think about all the (great, inspiring) time I have spent on Flickr and reading blogs over the last two-three years...

The best tool I have come up with so far to fight my weakness, is to log the workday. I write down in a little black book what I do every hour of the workday. That way I'm aware of how many hours I actually work during a day, and how much time I waste being distracted. At the end of the day (week and month) I sum up; how has the workday been?

More than 8 hours work = a very good workday
8 hours work = a good work day
6 hours work = a rather good workday
4 hours work = the workday could have been better
2 hours work = a bad workday

Do you have any good techniques to fight distractions and absent-mindedness?

Gotta go back to work. My lunch break has been too long.


  1. that's funny and something i definitely suffer from too. i can disappear into the black hole of the internet for hours.

    when i'm doing upholstery work i use a sheet where i break down the job into tasks and then give each one an estimated time. against this i then mark the actual time it took so i can see where i'm spending too long on things, or more likely taking too long due to distractions.

    i'm thinking about applying this to my writing work as well as it is really useful and shows where i can't bill for my time due to procrastination!

  2. i like this idea astrid. i think i'll employ it for use in my office - even though i work in a regular job... i still get distracted!

    i'd love to read more about how you established yourself as a freelancer and how you continue to develop your work/ portflio.

  3. i like your method too. i might have to try that! i often think back on my day and wonder what the ratio of work to internet browsing is...

  4. I can definitely relate with you on this one! I'm glad I read this today because you've reminded me I need to get back to writing down what I do each hour. This is something I had been using for awhile and it worked really well. http://davidseah.com/blog/the-printable-ceo-iii-emergent-task-timing/

    For some reason I stopped using it. Don't ask me why. But I think I'm going to start using it again. I kinda like the idea of a little black book, though. :)

  5. I know exactly how you feel. I haven't figured it out. I get stuck on the internet way too often. I like how you broke up the hours. So true!



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