A couple of months ago, when I was super-stressed about not being able to do any work at work, my daughter has recommended me to read a book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
There were several interesting ideas which I liked, and several helpful techniques which came just in time for me to complete a couple of tasks, which required to be 100% focused on them. The idea that you need to isolate yourself from distractions to be able to accomplish a serious task is trivial, but hard to follow :). When starting those “deep sessions” for the first time, I’ve realized that I’ve been doing a similar thing long time ago, when I was a single working mother with two small children and another in grade school, and in order to be competitive I had to squeeze the eight hours worth of work into four hours. I forgot since then :), but now, when reading this book, I am completely agreeing with the author that people rarely work productively for 8 hours straight, and that the bulk of productivity can be compressed into 4 hours. So – yes, I am very happy to be reminded how exactly this works.
What I did not like was a general assumption, that everything you are doing in life should be evaluated from the standpoint of whether it helps you to achieve your main goal or not. If this sounds too abstract, I can give a very specific examples. The author states that basically all social networks are evil :), and there is no justification of using them, if you have some important goals in your life. Except of if this goal is to become popular on the internet :))
My take on this topic is that yes, sometimes you need to limit your participation in the social networks, because if you react at each and single “like”, you will accomplish nothing. I usually do NOT reply to Livejournal comments when I am in the office or working on something important from home (not because somebody is watching me, but because it is indeed distracting :)), but I will definitely allocate at least an hour a day to these activities, because there are many people with whom I interact exclusively on the social media (mostly for geographical reasons). And it is not about being or not being popular, it’s about not giving away some parts of me, which are important. It’s like no matter how busy I am, I will volunteer for The Night Ministry at least twice a month. My Big Goals are definitely important, but it is equally important to be a person I am 🙂