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How do you handle distraction?

Bruce Axtens
Programmed Canon Canola calculators in 1977. Assorted platforms and languages ever since. Assisting with HOPL.info. I am NOT looking for work -- I've got more than enough to do.
・1 min read

How do you handle distraction, both personally and corporately?

At the corporate level, I've heard of companies that try to channel distraction creatively, allowing workers to allocate a slice of time each week to other pursuits. I expect there are rules regarding what's an appropriate "other pursuit" in the those situations.

At my office my manager gets quite concerned when he thinks I'm, as he calls it, "spinning my wheels." Granted, if I'm on Facebook, reading Order of the Stick or reading Girl Genius then that's easily identifiable as inappropriate-for-workplace activity. But is Exercism? (I learned how to do Linq through Exercism's C# track and it's been really useful.) Or researching for HOPL? Or completing RosettaCode challenges?

Maybe I'm just looking for justifications for corporate misbehaviour, but how to do you keep yourself on target? Okay, I can get really intense sometimes and lose touch with the outside world. And sometimes I wish I could reach into my head and flick the intensity switch on because I'm just not excited at all about the task at hand and would rather be elsewhere.

Discussion (2)

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skryking profile image
Jason Ormes

I just flow with the distraction. Eventually I'll come back around to what I was working on if it was important.

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valentinprgnd profile image
Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him)

Agreed, I think it’s okay to be distracted, it’s part of the process.

The book Execute by Drew Wilson & Josh Long is a great read that basically suggest working only on the task you are inspired about in the moment, to maximize productivity.