Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Procrastination - The Trap of Social Media

We've all been here.

It's 5pm the day before an essay/article/work report is due, with all the sincerity in the world you sit down at your computer ready to punch out a truly remarkable piece of work, one that Tolstoy would surely claim as his own.

Fast forward to three hours later...

You have managed to update your Twitter status seven times, do an in depth stalk of three old high school crushes, watch an episode of 30 rock, pin artsy pictures on Pinterest and update your profile on LinkedIn.

If you are a social media marketing manager, job well done.

If you are the rest of the world, chances are the work you have actually completed consists of a heading, a blank page and a blinking cursor anticipating something to be typed on a Word document.

I'm sure it took Tolstoy at least a few hours to come up with the title War and Peace, but if your headline consists of 'GOVT3236 - Analytical Essay' I don't think you can claim the time frame as deliberation on the English language.

It is times like this I manage to astound myself with the lengths I will go to NOT to do something. Usually this requires double the effort of the original task, but does my brain realise the absolute ridiculousness of the situation? Of course not, otherwise I would not be writing this blog post, (yes, I have an essay due tomorrow).

The most alarming of these moments was a week ago when I found myself in the unusual position of sitting in my completely spotless apartment, three loads of washing done, books rearranged, uni notes filed and despairingly, I was completely at a loss of distractions.

So what did I do? I Googled ways to not procrastinate. For two hours.

I had sunk to a new low and something needed to be done.

Luckily for me, I had searched ways to not procrastinate (great work, Sarah), so I had come across some cool applications that might would help me, now that I was to become an efficient and productive wiz-kid.

First thing was first, climbing out of the social media black hole just for a few hours. But how?

Anti-Social - is a downloadable productivity app which allows you to type in the domain names of sites that stop you from doing what you need to do. You simply type in the domains and then select the time frame you want to be blocked from them. If, in the event of a social media emergency, you need to gain access to these sites before time is up you can reboot your computer. You get five free trials of this and then if it works for you, download it for $15.

Freedom - is Anti-Social's little sister and goes one step further. Under the same premise of time frames it instead blocks you from accessing anything on the internet and is available for download for $10.

For those wanting both of these apps, you can bundle and buy the two for a reduced price of $20. The downside is that Anti-Social is not available on PC's, only Mac's. I guess this is because all the hip "I'm a converse wearing, satchel carrying, Mac" types are more addicted to social media than PC users, maybe...

If you are really in a time crunch the next application lays it on the line right from the get go.

Write or Die  - 'Putting the prod in productivity', because who doesn't like a bit of sadistic behaviour from a computer app? No one and that is what you'll get. The premise of this is that you have to keep typing or there will be consequences. Ranging from unpleasant sounds, to your work actually starting to delete itself, it's just best if you keep typing. You can download it from Itunes for $10.

I have yet employ these in my work because obviously I had to write this blog to help everyone out. I'm pretty selfless like that, it's nothing to do with me STILL avoiding work.

Anyway, time to get on with my version of War and Peace. If I copy and paste the essay question at the top of the page, that's at least four more lines... brilliant.
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