Screen sucking is wasting time online just surfing the web without doing anything productive. I first heard the term screen sucking in a Time Magazine article about how wasting time over the internet is affecting productivity nation wide. My first reaction was to dismiss it as something of a personal issue and nothing that had wider impact. Boy!! Was I wrong? Thankfully the realization came early enough, saving me from being an “online waste”.
I had just decided to take up writing part-time hoping that in two years I will be able to have a full time writing career. To keep cash coming in, I took up a part-time job at the local sandwich shop. On a typical day I would work for four hours at the restaurant and rest of the time I would sit before the computer trying to write. After two months I could see that my leap of faith is taking me downhill and realized that I may never have the career I have been dreaming of.
The problem was my “screen sucking”. I would come back from work, turn on the computer and sit there for hours, but without any work to account for the time. Let me show you how I would spend four hours online, without any work being done.
– For half an hour I would work with my email, write to family friends, shifting through junk mails. I have two email addresses so this would take an hour to get over with.
– Then I would check news sites to get updated. Some news sites then sites on and the region. For half an hour.
– After being online for an hour and half, I haven’t even started to work. Exiting the last news site I head to Google, to look for topics to write on.
– I find key terms which have been attracting a lot of attention, but about which I know nothing about. Then I research about that topic for next 2 hours but get nowhere. Seeing that I am getting nowhere, I get frustrated and tell my self I will try tomorrow. Then I turn on the TV, and calm my guilt by saying I am taking creative break.
This cycle went for two months. By time I realized that I have a problem, I was so much in guilt and anger that I was ready to whip my lazy self to get back to working hard.
First thing I did to get out of screen sucking was, before I sat down in front of computer, I would make a list of all the tasks I have to complete that day. I keep that list right next to computer and check it after every half and hour to make sure that I am on track. Then I made a list of all the topics I want to write about. This saved time I spent on Google looking for topics. And lastly, every night before going to bed I would check the list to make sure that I did everything I had planned on. If I missed anything, I would put in the list for next day.
Well I have not made drastic improvement but I can say that I been able to get work done and I am confident that in days to come I will be able to get more efficient and productive. Screen sucking is on a decline.
For those of you dealing with screen sucking, I hope my experience was of help. Remember the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem. From that point on things can only improve.