December 4th, 2020

When Work Requires Engaging in Distraction Factories - Friday Notes 127

On one hand there is a lot of good on YouTube, I'm awesome and I have a channel so it must be good. There is also a lot of terrible distraction on YouTube. I'm going to focus on YouTube today, but the ideas are the same for many of the mediums we encounter. Lots of good, with lots of distraction thrown in and if we go for the distraction we loose any benefit that may come from the medium.

To deal with this i've come up with a simple strategy that isn't much work to implement. I separate finding content and consuming content into discrete tasks. When I'm looking for research material, that's all I'm doing. I find research material and put it in DEVONthink. Once I've found enough resources that I feel I can take a good look at the area of research and make forward progress on the project I stop and then turn to consuming the resources.

You can help keep content coming by supporting it on Patreon. Patrons get free access to my courses on SkillShare too and my Time Blocking course will be released in the next week or so.

When I consume resources I don't head back to gathering resources until I have a list of questions that the current resources don't answer. Armed with those questions, I head back to the gathering stage and repeat the process of finding resources and then consuming them.

Making these two tasks into separate activities has been revolutionary in stopping me from heading into wells of distraction. I no longer look up from doing research only to realize I'm long down a path that's not fruitful and I've simply wasted time consuming material that has nothing to do with the task at hand.

How do you keep your content consumption on track?

I Shipped

Monday I showed you how to reindex your database in DEVONthink To Go. It doesn't happen regularly, but sometimes search won't return the results I know are there and reindexing fixes the problem every time.

Today you can find a video with my book haul from the last number of months. As always, it's an eclectic mix of content from stuff on LGBTQ+ communities to a book reflecting on the legacy of the KKK in most white families and what that means to our current behaviour.

You should also be seeing content from me on the Keep Productive YouTube channel. We recently finished an interview on my Obsidian setup and there is some other collaborations coming.