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"I hate the internet for what it brings out in me" - Thoughts on Conquering Distraction

I received a thought-provoking email from a reader about the nature of the internet. Here's the key quote that I think many people with empathize with:

I feel like a big luddite for saying this, but I hate the internet for what it brings out in me.

... I am trying to deal with what can only be described as an addiction.

Addiction to high-stimulation-distraction is quite common for intelligent people in the modern era. Surfing the internet, video games, things like that. There's sort of a natural selection websites go through, where the more addicting sites win out and spread and take marketshare and mindshare away from less addicting sites. Paul Graham wrote about this in, "The Acceleration of Addictiveness."

Three key thoughts for you, and then I'll share some of my experience with it -

When To Change Your Life

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No, not now.

Chances are, if you want to change your life, you've found yourself at the end of a series of bad choices. If you're a student cramming for finals, if you're a freelancer who didn't do the project you have to give your client next week, or an employee who hasn't been meeting their daily quotas for a while now, you're thinking "Alright, it's time to change my life so this never happens to me again."

Right now, while you're in this rut, do whatever's working for you. Sprint over the finish line because you walked the rest of it. Do whatever works, no matter how cheap it feels.

Then, when everything's calmed down--a new semester, a new client, a new year, change your life.

Changing your life is slow and it requires you to not have this much on your plate. You can only change one thing at a time, and if you're trying to change while all of your energy is going towards cleaning up your mess, you won't change--and worse, you'll forget about changing your life until things get this drastic again.

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