Earlier this week I talked about my need to create. I’ve found that consumption is my biggest barrier to creating.
In today’s world we have endless distractions. Twitter, Facebook, Email, RSS, IM, HackerNews, and on and on. I could fill my entire day by opening up a browser tab to each of the above and refreshing…over…and over…and over. I’d find lots of interesting articles, videos, and updates from smart people. All of which would distract me from creating.
Over the last year I’ve noticed that my level of consumption has increased. I’d like to blame Twitter, or perhaps the people I follow for creating so much interesting content, but there’s really no one to blame but myself. I’ve let myself lose discipline and focus at the times when its most important. While waiting for a console to start up, a script to run, or a page to load I’m drawn to my email, twitter, facebook, and countless other sites that do nothing but distract from what I should be focused on. All the sudden, rather then thinking about the problem I’m working on I’m thinking about some article, or email, or other unimportant thing that I’ve come across.
In my prior life I worked in an environment that helped prevent distractions during times of focus through pair programming. Having someone sitting next to you is a solid way to prevent distractions. The key to preventing distraction is discipline. A pair forces that discipline through peer pressure. However, discipline doesn’t need to come via a peer, leading a life of discipline can be a choice you make for yourself.
As I reflect on the past year I clearly see that I’ve be undisciplined, unfocused, and as a result haven’t produced or created to the degree that I’ve come to expect from myself.
My re-newed commitment to creating starts with a re-newed commitment to discipline.