A Life of Productivity tip #72: completely disconnect from the internet when you have to get something done

Our new campaign office has a wireless internet connection that is often largely theoretical. This is annoying as hell, because most of the time when I have to get something done, emails are involved. It seems like a good point to investigate A Life of Productivity‘s tip #72:

Completely disconnect from the Internet when you have to get something done. 47% of your time online is spent procrastinating. If you want to get something big done, unplug from the Internet.

(Incidentally, that 47% stat is from a study conducted before Facebook, Twitter et al came into popular use. Yeeshk.)

This advice is everywhere, for writers in particular. When the Guardian surveyed successful authors for their top ten pieces of writing advice, one of Zadie Smith’s rules was:

Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

And Jonathan Franzen went one further:

It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.

(I’d say ‘I’m sure he meant his or her workplace’, but let’s face it, he didn’t.)

I’m not going to get any writing done in the campaign office (although I’ve already thought it would make an interesting play…) but I can keep a list of other things I need to do which don’t require an internet connection, and use this opportunity to crack through the list without any distractions. Having just wasted ten minutes reading Jonathan Franzen’s entire Wikipedia page to find the source of the quote above, I think it’s an opportunity I should embrace…

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