Keep away from attention drainers

Yesterday night I set off to return to the apartment at around 10:30 pm. This morning, when I set off to school, it was 10:30 am or so. So I have 12 hours between daily commute, without doing anything.

How did I spend the time? Mostly on mobile phones. I did not even start my computer.

I remember going to bed at 12:50 am and was waken up by the alarm clock at 7:30 am. Thus quality sleep time is less than six hours. I do not feel like working now because of the lack of rest.

So, there are roughly 6 hours wasted. A huge harm to productivity and this cannot be continued.


  • Posted a WeChat moment and was drawn to that
  • Browsing through other people’s WeChat moments
  • Weibo probably taken 30 minutes or so
  • Yelp search for where to buy bikes in NYC
  • Internet surfing last night, contents I don’t quite remember now

These activities need to be eliminated. I missed a morning class also. Since human attention and time are limited resources, companies build apps and make money out of them (e.g. selling ads)! Every minute I spend on Weibo, the company is going to make money without really taken my benefits into consideration. I am being exploited by a company.

However, it is impossible to not to use iPhone, because the tradeoff is to lose connection with friends. There is also the convenience of apps despite the waste of energy.

Steps and plans:

At night, after a day’s work willpower is weak. So, need to take concrete steps to avoid being drawn to distractions.

  • When heading off from school, open SelfControl on App.
    • Limit daily social media use from 800am-810am, 1200-1210 pm, 600pm -610pm, 950-1000pm. That is already one hour in total!
    • This includes: Douban, Weibo, Facebook, WeChat.
  • Between 10pm to 8am, do not use mobile phone.
  • What to do with the extra time?
    • Actually focus on my tasks.
    • If feel bored, do not use mobile phone or social media. Instead, do a five5 minute mediation instead.
    • Walk around or move outside.
    • Do not listen to songs, as they lead to unstable emotion and weak self-control. Do not taken in new information (read a story, podcast, etc.) Take a real rest.

I will log my daily progress on this in a Google Sheet. The goal is to form a habit from Sep 14 to Oct 31. I might fall back, but the moral is never miss two days in a row.


Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *