Shards of Consciousness

Aimless Activity Will Stop You From Reaching Your Goals

Chris Howard at The Qwertyrash Blogs wrote an article triggered by Think About What You Read named Blog Help: Are you overinformed which he ended with the lines:

Reading is activity.
Writing is productivity.

I love those lines. They make a particular case of one of the points I was making in my article - aimless activity will prevent you from reaching your goals.

Chris spends a good part of his day writing, and researching what he writes about. He's written about this in terms of blogging. In these articles, as the phrase at the top of this page says, I am concerned with who you are, not what you do. Separating the two can be difficult, though, especially since what you do is a reflection of who you are. If you habitually wander through your day with no real direction, that says something about you. If you randomly surf through the channels on the television for a few hours after sitting down to watch one specific program, that says something about you.

The internet has it's own allure. The magic of hyperlinking, and I do think it is a wonderful thing that can lead to delightful discoveries and knowledge to use in your life, also makes it too easy to spend hours in pleasant sightseeing. After following a link directly related to what you are working on at the moment, two hours later you can find yourself happily reading about a completely different subject and wonder how you got there.

There is nothing wrong with wandering. Browse throught a library, sightsee in a park, wander the internet. But do so as a source of renewal and relaxation. Keep track of where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing or you will look back and wonder where the time went and why you didn't do what you wanted to do with your self.

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6 Responses to Aimless Activity Will Stop You From Reaching Your Goals

  • Great piece, Rick. Your final paragraph really sums iit well.

  • Thanks Chris.

    #155 | Comment by Rick on July 5, 2006 3:39am
  • Since going to broadband about a year ago I have spent far too many hours just flipping from site to site. It was part of my learning curve. As you have observed, you find some amazing sites and then you wonder how you ever got there.

    Now I am far more discerning, far more selective and I am gradually getting this monster under control. When productivity is at stake, being very deliberate in how you use the internet is vital.

    But surfing for fun and out of sheer curiosity also has its place. It's called - as you say - renewal and relaxation.

    #156 | Comment by Trevor on July 6, 2006 1:24am
  • Hi Trevor,

    I don't know that I would call it a monster, but it is certainly seductive. I think one of the reasons are the serendipitious discoveries you can make - while rare they are frequent enough that they keep you going.

    I've found some of my favorite websites during the periods of random cruising that have become regular places of recreation or become standard sources of information that I can use in my more productive life.

    #158 | Comment by Rick on July 6, 2006 5:28am
  • Agree with all the above. Have few favorite forums that I check on a daily bases and that alone takes good part of my schedule as far as the online activity goes. And yes,broadband was a miracle to me for a long while. Better than one way,400kb/s downloads only satellite, that cost fortune to install back in 2003. Now days, to me, speed does not matter anymore, @ 400 or 4K it all comes down to basic question- do I have the time.

    #1139 | Comment by svt on May 2, 2007 4:05pm
  • Hi svt, and welcome!

    Broadband is a miracle. My first modem was 128 baud. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Now I have DSL and the internet is actually not the World Wide Wait. That has been a tremendous time saver.

    I don't use forums much. Most of my online reading is in the form of blogs and newspapers. I limit myself there based on time, and relevance to what I'm doing, with a little left over for just fun.

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