Tweet Less, Do More

My wife and I spent some time last week planning some goals, events, and projects for 2018. Among other things, I’d like to read more, blog more, and be more intentional about how I spend my free time.

A first step to achieving this: on the 1st of January, I deleted Tweetbot from my phone. If I want to check Twitter, I can do so on my iPad, but I’ll only look once a day. The payoff has been great, even after only one week:

  • I used to be a timeline completionist (I had to read every tweet), but now I’m letting it go. It’s freeing.
  • I’ve found I’m no longer carrying my phone around the house, everywhere I go. Why did I do that before? What was so important?
  • It’s not just that I’m carrying it around less though. I’m using it less in general. I feel less attached to it. I don’t feel anxious if I don’t know where it is. The other day I left the house to go and work from a cafe, and accidentally left my phone at home because the need to have it didn’t really occur to me.
  • I’ve started charging my phone in a different room at night (not the bedroom), so it’s not the last thing I look at before bed. I also don’t rush to get it first thing in the morning – I’ll generally pick it up before work. Again, it’s one less thing to think about.
  • Instead of constantly checking my phone, I’ve started ensuring my Kindle is always to hand. Before bed, I’ll read some of a book. Any downtime I want to fill, I can read some of a book. As a result, I’ve already read two books in the first week of the year, and that’s unheard of for me in recent times.

Hey, and here I am writing a blog post.


In recent years, I’ve become increasingly concerned about my scatterbrained-ness. I find it hard to focus on a single task for a prolonged period of time: for example, I find it takes me far longer to get through a book, or even read a short passage of text, than it ever used to. I don’t listen to the other person when I’m having a conversation — or rather, I try to listen, but the information somehow always seems to pass through my brain without being stored anywhere. I’m not really present in the moment. My brain gets distracted very easily, and I’ll swear I hadn’t had that conversation with you. My comprehension of texts is perhaps worse than it’s ever been, too. Not all the time, but often, I have to concentrate quite hard in order to actually take in the details of what I’m reading if I want anything more than a cursory understanding. When using the computer at home, I never seem to do anything productive — just follow an endless cycle of checking my feed reader, my e-mail, Twitter, and flicking through my open tabs. Sure, I get things done, but slowly, and piecemeal. My concentration usually feels scattered, my focus divided, my brain like it’s trying to juggle too many balls/clubs/knives/porcupines at once.

Continue reading “Singletasking”