My greatest distraction

Posted by Louis Brandy on 02 November 2009

I’ve made an important personal discovery. I’ve found my greatest distraction. It’s not the phone, or my email, or instant messaging, or the internet. It is having no distractions. My guess is some small segment of people are just like me and instantly understand. The rest are probably quite confused.

I have a friend who swears by for getting things done. It disables your networking (for OSX) and the only way to get the internets back is to reboot. And macs don’t reboot quickly. The pain of rebooting combined with no internet connection is supposed to provide an ideal working eviornment. There is absolutely no way this will work for me.

Last week, we lost our internet connection at my house. Comcast was coming out the following day to fix it, and there was little I could do in the interim. For most people, this would be a fantastic oppurtunity to get stuff done. I could have cleaned the house, or raked the leaves, or even worked on some of my personal programming projects. I did none of that. I couldn’t. The little firefox icon sat there taunting me. I ended up playing World of Goo for a few hours.

I have a difficult time actually putting my finger on why this is. Part of the explanation is my deep need to troubleshoot these problems. If the internet is down, I want to know whose fault it is. I fire up tracert and figure out who I can blame. But there’s a bit more to it. Even once I’ve figured out whose fault it is, and it is out of my control, it remains a huge distraction. It is just much easier for me to concetrate when everything is right in the universe. I am able to ignore the temptation of distraction but it drives me batty when there is no temptation. I cannot explain this to my own satisifaction. Am I just crazy?

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