The cost of distractions (#128)

Day highlights:

  • Had some Dunkin Donuts.
  • First time vietnamese and ubae coffee (First sip cafe in Little Saigon).
  • Had one of the best phos ever (Nha Hang).
  • Empanadas (Don Pablos) and banh mi (Nhu Lan)
  • Sat near a water front and chilled there for a bit.
  • Had great discussions about rehab, physiotherapy and other subjects.
  • Had some donuts (apple cider donut was gooood - Firecakes).
  • Ate some pretty good ramen at Ramen-San.
  • Finished off with some Baskin Robbins Ice Cream.
  • Video chat with JB xx

Thought of the day:

What is the cost of distractions?

I was in a 3 hour flight to Chicago and there was no entertainment system to keep me occupied.

I tried to sleep, but everyone knows that planes are not the ideal situation to sleep and, on top of that, it was freaking hot in the plane.

"I should have downloaded a few episodes of cyberpunk to watch in the plane".

As I was looking around me to see what other people were doing, I noticed that a lot of them were reading.

"Wow", I told myself, "look at that, remove cheap distractions and most people will actually pick up a (better) distraction in reading".

Like the people following sheep I am, I decide to also want to read.

"Fuck, I forgot my kindle in my other bag. No reading for me I guess."

As I sit in my hot, humid, tight and uncomfortable airplane seat, I start asking myself what I can do to kill about 1.5 hours left of airplane ride.

Every day, I have to write a thought of the day for my blog so I decided to write one in the airplane ride.

These past few weeks, I've been writing shorter and shorter blog posts because I literally write them right before going to sleep, when I'm super tired and do not feel like writing at all.

Except now, it's different. I literally have nothing else better to do than writing a quality post.

So I start writing.

At the end of about 30 minutes (or more), I have produced a decent story that's better than anything I've wrote in a while.

And that's when it hit me.

How much quality production do I lose to cheap distractions?

While I was in the airplane, I was thinking of coding, working, writing, reading, video editing, etc.

All things that I always think of doing, but never actually do because I decide to always pick the cheap dopamine hit option in youtube watching, manga reading, etc.

And, of course, there's a certain level of blame that goes to my own lack of discipline and my choice of chasing what's very easy (consuming) vs what's slightly harder (producing), but at the same time, I'm asking myself, how much does it have to do with my environment?

My little airplane environment taught me that when I'm not tired and I don't have access to cheap entertainment, I'll decide to read, write and I'm pretty sure I'd be willing to work or even code.

How much more productive would I be if I setup my environment to be productive inducing instead of consuming inducing?

In his best-seller book, Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about environment being one of the most important factors when it comes to successfully building good habits.

Put someone who wants to lose weight in a room full of pizza, fries, TVs, computers, fast food, fuzzy drinks with a bunch of overweight people


Put that same person in a room full of healthy food, fruits, vegetables, workout equipment with a bunch of athletes

And see how much of a difference it'll make on that person's weight loss journey.

When I put it like that, it's so evident that environment plays a huge role.

Yet, most of us, working from home, never gave a thought about how much our environment was helping or harming us in our work production (at least we're starting to care more about ergonomics).

Imagine, as a creative writer, having a room that only has a computer with a text editor without access to internet?

You go in there for 3 hours, no distractions, how much would you be able to write?

And that's really all you need per day.

3-4 hours of deep, focused work.

Maybe it's time to start thinking about investing in a production inducing environment.

I'm pretty sure we can Math it out and find out that it makes financially sense to create such an environment.

Anyway, that's it for me.

Good night.

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