July 12, 2016 at 7:21 am #3183
Are you …. squirrel!
Ernie, my cat, is sick. Not so sick that we need be worried – in fact the vet thinks he’s faking – but definitely under the weather. He really just wants to lie on the patio in the sun, but when he does that, he can’t see me if I’m working in my office. And, he wants to be able to see me (Wendii). His solution is to whine until I can stand it no longer and move to where he wants me to be.
On Sunday, I was working on stuff that I needed to have my full screen for – I couldn’t work on my laptop. And he was whining. And whining. And whining. In the end I picked up my computer, mouse and keyboard, and went to the dining room table, where he could see me. Normally, I have two screens on my desk, but working with one was fine for what I was doing.
Come Monday, the computer was still in the dining room, and I needed to get started, so I didn’t move it and just started work. And then came the revelation. I always thought I was pretty good at concentrating, and not letting myself be distracted. I was wrong. Only being able to have one program on my computer screen cut my distraction level another 80%.
Not being able to see my calendar put it out of my mind and I stopped thinking about it. Not being able to see any other programs stopped me thinking about them. Not being able to see other files stopped me thinking about them. Not having my task manager open stopped me thinking about other tasks. In fact, I stopped thinking about anything other than what I was doing. My computer goes faster too 🙂
Multiple screens are, of course, very useful when doing some tasks. It was amazing to me how much I had allowed myself to put on that second screen, and how distracted I was by it. When I moved back into my office, I took everything off my desk and only put back the essentials – my keyboard, my mouse, my headset for calls, a pad of paper and a pen. Then I opened only the program I needed to write this newsletter.
If you find yourself distracted a lot, then try the one screen method. If you’re convinced you’re not distracted, then try the one screen method and see if you’re as surprised as I was. You only need to try it for a morning. I’m not going back.
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