I waste a lot of time daily doing a lot of things but in reality, I don't do much. Today was a relatively free day at office and I have been meaning to complete a small project from the last week. But I am always putting it off for just a few minutes whenever I get a sense that I am free. It typically goes like this. If I feel I am free from 11:45 am, I decide that because anyway I will go to lunch at 12:30 pm, I will just check what is happening in hacker news. It will go till 12:30. I will go to lunch and I come back to my desk by 1 PM. Then again, I want to start working on the project but I remember that there are revolutions going on in Libya, Bahrain and else where in middle east. I open up nytimes and guardian to check the status on that. I know that I can in no way influence the outcome of that but still I can't keep myself from checking those sites. Then I check gmail. I will get a mail from facebook saying so and so person has left a comment on your post. I follow the link and see the comment and reply to that. Also, I see the links and statuses and photos that my friends have shared and in no time, I will be diving deep in the chain of links and by the time I come to my senses and start working, it will be 3:30 PM. I work for half an hour, go for a tea break and come to my place. Again I want to check twitter to see what my friends are saying. Again I drown in another sea of links. By the time, I am rescued, it will already be time for my leaving. I come home and hope that I can do something at home atleast. After coming home, I start checking sites of telugu movies like idlebrain, telugustudio.net etc and by the time I see the interviews, news and videos I am starved. So I just pull me up, cook something and eat and by that time, it will be time for calls to India. By the time I am done, I can only sleep.
This is kind of frustrating. I just tell myself tomorrow will be better daily. The days have become weeks and weeks have become months. With such an addicted situation, it is really a wonder that I have been able to complete an android app. So something has to change. As I have mentioned in my resolutions review conentrating on something is not a problem thanks to pomodoro once I have started, but starting itself is a big problem now. So I have decided to extend the pomodoro technique to get me started also. In the classic pomodoro technique, we start working on something for 25 minutes without any distractions -any distraction is attended to after this 25 mins-, now I want to start something and work on only that thing of 25 days and leave the other 5 days to attend to any distractions.
So I will not visit any news sites during these 25 days. I will check my email and facebook only once everyday and that too at the end of the day. Ideally this would be best if I start it at the beginning of the month, but then I don't want to lose the motivation now, so I am starting it now. If I am able to successfully complete this, then I will take an extended break at the end of march.
Update- 1: So It has been one and a half week since I started this fast. I would say I didn't succeed wildly in this becuase I am still seeing the websites and news sites I will visit. But still, there is a marked change in the way I see reading. Before I read anything, I am asking myself if it will help me take any action - If yes, then only I am reading big articles. Ofcourse I am just glancing over the news, which I would have previously read. But still I can be better. I followed the Ipad 2 announcement live on Endgadget. But over all, I am very happy with the decision. I have been very productive this two weeks. I will continue to observe the fast and tell you of all the updates.
Update - 2: It is going really good. To be frank, I am not really forcing myself to not go to websites and I am checking them intermittently, but the key word their is intermittently, I am not getting stuck there. I am visiting them only as break in my work. And it is working too. I completed my first Django web application and deployed it here.
Update -3: After the success above, I should say, i completed hit the wall. But the media fast ends. It is one thing which is very difficult for me. I am a sucker for news... The Japan earthquake and the surrounding media hype was too much to ignore. Now it is the cricket world cup. This will never end, but this week has be disastrous in the sense, I didn't even work for one pomodoro after I come home. Saving grace is that I am reading and summarizing Keith Ferrazi's book on relationships - 'Never Eat Alone'. Check out the posts here. Meanwhile, I have also have to do a lot to improve the app which has been languishing without any improvements. You can follow my progress and encourage me here.