Regaining Attention Span, Part 1
My Time Vampires and the Closet They Inhabit
An item on one of my many lists says “identify my time vampires”. I was doing some light reading of the book Deep Work by Newport and discovered the closet in which those vampires hide. In a chapter titled “Embrace Boredom” the author says,
“Wean your mind from a dependence on distraction”
“If every moment of potential boredom in your life … is relieved with a quick glance at your smartphone, then your brain … is not ready for deep work.”
My time vampires are the sort that masquerade as important mental activity. Googling things constantly. Checking news headlines every half-hour. I can tell myself this is self-improvement or keeping up with current events, but really I’m a dog chasing deer I’ll never catch. Running a hundred feet in one direction, then picking up a new scent and running back to where I started. This is not productive work.
Besides constant exposure to news borders on morbidity in today’s climate. Like staring at mangled bodies after an accident on the road. It’s not healthy. It doesn’t enhance the living.