Week 2 of my Summer of Reflection regarding wasteful time/habits is here!

Keyboard hotkeys are sexy. Nothing feels better than being able to multi-task between multiple windows and quickly copy information around from window to window. It allows for a lot of work to get done, tasks became way more efficient, and we’re able to do more in less. Automation at its finest.

One of my most commonly used hotkeys I use is the ALT + TAB. Using ALT + TAB, I can switch between windows easily. This means between Facebook, Pandora, OBS, StarCraft, VMs, and the like, I can quickly switch between programs with ease.

But it has its cost.

Natural habits, when they become habits, become automatic. The process of performing a task becomes automatic. It’ll start happening without awareness. You don’t even think about it. Before you know it, it becomes part of your everyday routine.

I caught myself one day on Facebook while I was at work, scrolling through the newsfeed. I didn’t even realize how it happened. Just came to the present moment, and I was at Facebook. No recollection on even navigating there. I was really confused. I was working on a test case automation script, waiting for it to execute, and minutes later, well past the execution of the script, I was still on Facebook. Sure, it was a work-flow script, one that would have taken 6 minutes in this instance, but I got myself drawn into the land of political posts, dank meme-age, the cute selfies, and everything in between. I was baffled at this, taking off my headphones and looking around.

Good, it was the weekend. No one else was in the office. No one else got to see me be distracted. Wait, was that shame? Why should I be ashamed?

When I noticed this, I attempted to be mindful of this multi-tasking practice and I found myself all over the place. Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Email, the like. It happens a lot! Just mindless wander the internet. I suppose it’s like when you go to Wikipedia to look something up quick and then find yourself on an unrelated article. You don’t even think about it.

Back to the shame question. I am not sure why I felt shame. Maybe it was because I was using company resources (time = money) to do things that were definitely not contributing to the company's bottom line. Maybe it was the feeling of not being 100% attentive to my task. Maybe it was the natural gut feeling that Facebook shouldn't be consuming my time. Who knows. I'll think about it more, I think, now that I am aware of this habit.

I guess, it comes down to being mindful about your habits. I know that if I wandered away from my tasks via hotkeys, I’d be able to possibly get more done. I haven’t done any formal recordings of time spent on this, but I feel that I would have more time to get tasks done. Worth a shot anyways.

We’re keeping this short and sweet this week. Another blog post will be posted later this week I think!

Cheers!

 

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