I often read comments that I must be very disciplined in order to write books and do a blog. If you guys think I’m disciplined- think again. HEHE! It’s a daily struggle and sometimes a minute by minute struggle for me to get things done. Ask the people I work with and they will all say the same thing.
Working with me is like herding cats.
Work is a huge issue for me- a lifelong struggle with focus that started when my bipolar got serious at age 19, over 30 years ago. I also have a right brain injury from a 2012 biking accident that greatly affected my memory around dates, times and numbers.
I think I had a breakthrough today as to why I have not been able to improve my focus over the past few years and it’s not about the brain injury. I call this…….
How much of my extreme focus problems are due to social media being on my work device?
I am easily distracted- many of us with bipolar are this way. What does it mean for my brain that the computer is literally my work station and at any second, I can click off of my work and look at something that gives me a hit of dopamine?
I am addicted to the Daily Mail Newspaper in a bad way. I feel better when I look at it even though it is filled with destructive stories. I see this as calming myself down when my work anxiety is high. Maybe it is the opposite. Maybe the dopamine is calming- but it’s also distracting and addictive. The research is VERY clear on this now that social media and our instant access to information has been around for a decade.
Dopamine. What a lovely feeling. But it is NOT helping me work in any way. It is distracting and destroying in terms of my focus.
I also see how this affects my beloved 15 year old nephew.
It’s not pretty.
I am doing something about this. It’s experimental and I am not sure of the results in terms of working, but I have to do something. There is too much I want to accomplish. Not being able to focus is harming my life.
My Social Media Limitation Experiment
As a brain researcher and someone who wants to get better every day, I am now limiting my social media. For the first time ever, I turned off my phone while watching my beloved football (soccer) this week. And today while watching Barcelona LOSE TO JUVENTUS!, I turned off my phone and put it in my bag.
I have decided that when I am with friends, the phone goes off. I am addicted to information. I want to be fully present for my friends and family.
It starts with me.
The next step is figuring out how to write without having social media so easily accessible. This may mean using a different computer with disabled internet access for working on my book project. Then, I will come back to my MAC when I have to do my social media work.
I am not able at all to simply NOT look at the social media. I go to it automatically as most of us do. I have OCD and simply saying no while it is still turned on has not worked.
We are adaptive creatures. We can manage our brains.
This pic is by Eron Hare. I love it!