Sometimes, we are not the best managers of our time and attention. Is there an activity that you spend too much time doing?
If you’ve been alive for more than five minutes, you are likely aware of the feeling of a sudden realization that you just spent an hour — or more — doing something that you hadn’t planned on doing.
There are many activities that might fall into this category. Browsing social media, from Facebook to Tik Tok to Instagram, can have this effect. These software platforms, in fact, are designed to capture our attention and make us lose track of time.
Similarly, our phones have other ways to distract us, from playing electronic games to reading blog posts to watching videos.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’
But there are plenty of in person, physical distractions as well. For some, cleaning can be a way of avoiding other tasks. You may have had the experience of being so absorbed in a novel that you stay up reading much later than is advisable, and you might even be groggy the next day from too little sleep.
If you find yourself regularly indulging in these behaviors, is there a particular task or type of task that you are avoiding? Is there anything in common with these events?
To sum up, what do you spend too much time doing? Is there a reason why?