Not sure when this happened but there is an equation. When I’m doing A, I have to do B in order to stay on task. Not sure what I mean? Well here are two examples.
When i’m working on a really complex programming or higher level problem i need to keep my hands busy to think. I make things. I twist wire; I build small models; I doodle. I have built wire trees, twisted small computer bugs out of Ethernet cords, and carved canoes out of balsa. I usually try to keep some sort of raw materials around my desk because who knows when I will need it.
When I’m trying to write I need to have music on in the background or the background sounds and conversations take over what I’m trying to write about and the staccato beat of the typing seems all out of sorts. I don’t type in tune to the music or anything. I can’t even touch type, which for a former tech support / computer guy, and current web developer is sort of sad. But functional. Depending on the writing the music differs too. Research or professional paper? any music, creative writing and it needs to be something without words, or the words end up in the writing.
The final piece in the puzzle was Sketchnoting. when I am listening to a talk having the ability to sketch out what is happening instead of randomly doodling helps me listen. By making notes instead of marks and nonsense it helps me focus on what is happening around me.
I can’t be the only one here. Anyone else need to distract themselves to be productive?