One more strategy to be more productive this year — uninstall Quora

This is a chapter from the journey on the path to self-improvement. Read more about that at the end.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Quora. I actually end up spending more time on it in a day than I spend on all other social networks combined in a week. And that is precisely where the problem exists.

This might be a reasonably apt description of how I look like when using Quora

The problem with my Quora usage graph(not necessarily the website itself, but my usage) exists on multiple levels:

  1. I don’t follow a lot of people. I don’t believe in following ‘like minded’ people. Really restricts your outlook of life. I have come across countless interesting personalities because I chose to treat everyone as if they were on the same pedestal — a stranger. And then I let their words speak to me. So, I follow topics. But the kind of questions I see getting asked — even in completely professional topics — these days has been getting on my nerves more and more. I unfollowed topics related to my school precisely because of that. No I don’t wanna know if Mr. X is the most intelligent people you have ever worked with, and to be honest, neither should you. Get a life! So, my content consumption time is way overshadowed by the time I spend just scrolling through — sometimes in frustration.
  2. I read. A lot. So, before I realise, I notice that another hour has passed me by. Sure, I do gain some knowledge, some unique perspective — from time to time. But I am not sure if that is worth the time it takes for me to get there. The bathroom breaks have gotten longer and Quora has been chipping away — one scroll at a time — at the hours I could actually be working.
  3. Your Quora answers are out there in the wild. People will continue to discover them, sometimes find it interesting, and then upvote. And ding goes the phone. Now, as much as I would like to claim I don’t live for social validation, we are all social animals. So yeah, I do check those notifications from time to time. That’s a lot of unscheduled breaks during the day, a lot of discontinuity in your peak productive state of mind.

And that — point #3 — is what prompted the decision! Sure, I did decide to continue answering a question on Quora every single day, and I will continue to do that (already did that for today). But I am not going to get pulled down by the responses it has or hasn’t been generating. As far as content consumption goes — I am going to starve myself on that for a few days and then start rationing the supply.

I use the same strategy while looking for a question to answer. Earlier, I used to scroll on and on, trying to find a question that looked fit. (For obvious reasons I did not want to answer a lot of questions in my request — Which is the best ecommerce website to buy a smartphone from? Is the latest Redmi phone better than the Oppo xyz?)

So now, I will open up 3 topics — one in each tab. Go through the top 10/15 items on the topic’s feed. If I find a question where I think I can contribute, I answer. Else, I will close the tab immediately. The right candidate might have been right at #16, but I don’t care. Remember what we talked about on stop loss?

All of these tweaks and changes I have been making — to be honest, they are fairly minuscule and trivial. But the hope is, put together they would be able to make a lot of difference.

This is part of a series, where I would be encapsulating my journey to some self-improvement over the course of next 16 weeks, starting April 9, 2017. ;-)
To get more context, do visit the series: Resolutions — without it being December
This was the first article in the series (April 9, 2017):
Article 2 (April 10, 2017)
You can contact me on mail@abyshake.com