Tuesday, July 19, 2011


coffeebythewindow1945I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity lately.

This is probably because it’s summertime and my schedule is pretty much non-existent.

I’m getting work done every day, but it’s not at the same times of day as when the kids were in school. And it’s frequently really early.

I read this interesting article called Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity.

Jonathan Fields talks about what happens when we get distracted by social media during our day. There were 2 things in particular that he focused on. One was that we receive “intermittent reinforcement” whenever we get an email, Twitter, or Facebook alert—an actual Dopamine squirt that gets us hooked.

The second thing he mentioned in his post was the Zeigarnik Effect. As Jonathan put it:

Every time we begin a conversation by text, email, twitter, Facebook or Google+, it’s like we’re opening a new loop. One that, until completed, compels us to want to finish the conversation. To keep checking and responding until the loop has been closed.

Problem is, in a hyperconnected world…the loops never close.

Of course, we all enjoy what we’re doing. I know I do. If I had it my way, large portions of my day would be spent catching up with everyone on their blogs, reading tweets, and looking at friends’ status updates.

But….I sure wouldn’t get anything done!

My solution to this is usually pretty extreme:

Close all my computer windows except for Word.

Put my phone across the room where I can hear it if it rings, but can’t check emails, Twitter, etc. on it.

Leave the house with my laptop and go to a place that doesn’t have wi-fi (increasingly more difficult to find.)

Write in a notebook (a real notebook) until I meet my goal.

And then I give myself a reward. :) I have to perform for treats.

How you y’all get things done with all the temptations of social media?