I have been taking some time off recently. I don’t really want to talk about the circumstances surrounding it because that isn’t the point of this post.
Since I have had time to work on slides and projects, I figured I would be super productive. I have been kind of productive, but not as much as I would like.
I have noticed I have no attention span. It’s gotten worse over the last two years or so.
I was on my flight to CocoaConf San Jose and I nearly had a panic attack that I couldn’t tweet the four hours or so I was on the plane. When I go to take a bath I bring a bunch of books and even video games to consume in the tub but I wind up spending all of my time on my phone chatting with people on Twitter. I get bored playing video games because they don’t move fast enough and that revelation really disturbs me quite a lot. I used to cross stitch and doing anything for more than a few minutes at a time is incredibly difficult.
There has been some question about the rise in cases of ADHD. I think that some people, like my teacher Eric Knapp, were born with it. But I also think that we can train our brains to mimic symptoms of it and that the massively connected world we live in has not been good for this.
I will wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep until I check Twitter and my email. This is really unhealthy.
I have no idea when this started getting really bad, but this is the first time I have noticed it.
Twitter has been really good at helping me establish and maintain connections with people I might only meet once at a conference. I know that a lot of people have gotten to know me and my pugs through my tweets.
I am just at a point where I am concerned about my long-term ability to function and be productive and I would like to break this cycle of thinking.
So I am going to delete the Twitter app from my phone. I am going to close the tab I have open for Twitter on my laptop.
I will answer email. There should be enough places online for people to find my email without me having to put it in this post. I will be on Slack channels. I will try to write on my blog more. I am not trying to make myself unreachable, I just need to disconnect from The Matrix for a while and relearn how to pay attention and focus so I can do things I think are important.
At this point I am planning to do this until the beginning of May. I want to give myself a good detox period.
I think that by doing this I will spend less time on my computer when I am not working. I will be more productive when I am on my computer. I think that I waste hours each day just chatting with people on Twitter and if that outlet isn’t there anymore I will be less likely to zone out in front of my computer for hours each night.
I hope that my decision is respected and I plan to write about my observations of the changing state of my focus on this blog. I am interested in seeing how my focus changes over the next month or so.