I’m always a sucker for a good take on digital distractions, and this Fast Company article, which, appropriately, I’ve been meaning to read for some time and am only just getting to, delivers four simple suggestions for managing the chaos that constantly lurks (or looms) in computers, smartphones, and the like:
- Keep incoming messages at low volume by restricting the volume of outgoing messages you send
- Embrace downtime with analog activities, rather than rushing to fill it with digital ones
- Strive to put yourself in more engaging situations so you don’t miss the digital filler
- Learn from those who are best at managing digital distractions, who “tend to be more outgoing, conscientious, and optimistic. They plan ahead and value face-to-face contact with others; they enjoy meeting new people and remain positive and calm under pressure”
I especially appreciated the reminder that a lot of real life is boring, in the sense that not much is happening at any given time. In my experience, social media and the like are tempting not because they are more interesting than what’s going on at any given moment, but because they relieve you of the need to generate your own thoughts. Fittingly, that occurred to me yesterday on a long, traffic-filled drive back from vacation.