Last week I was accused of being addicted to learning. It happened when my friends were talking about their favorite television shows. We were rambling off a list of dramas, sit coms, and comedies when I brought up a few documentaries that I was excited to view.
I was accused of being addicted to learning.
My friend started laughing at me and asked, “do you just have to learn no matter what you do? You can’t even watch TV without trying to learn something!”
I had to be honest, my friend had a point. I love to learn and sometimes think that my desire to learn things overrides my ability to chill.
There is a type of learning that we are encouraged to do our whole lives. It is a sort of undying, unyielding drive to know everything and everyone. It is curious, smart, and enlightening. Some call this endeavor, “life long learning,” others call it something equally as cheesy.
People generally agree that this type of learning is good. They agree that everyone should be engaged in some sort of lifelong quest for intellectual improvement. But this is not the only type of learning we have at our disposal today.
The other type of learning is harmful because it is a distraction. It is a stalling tactic that many of us use to postpone getting any real work done. I call it the discipline of, “life long stalling,” and I am really good at it.
Choosing to not work is hard. You have to rationalize it with something else. There are a lot of thing you can choose to do instead of working. But few seems as meaningful, or as justified, as choosing to learn something.
Bad learning is the pursuit of information in the avoidance of productivity.
Perhaps you are stalling right now. Finding a way to rationalize your own lack of work because you are learning something new. This article caught your eye because of the cool feature image and now you are a few hundred words deep into a convicting rant about getting things done.
Listen, from one educational procrastinator to another: stop. You don’t need point three our four to this blog post. You just need to stop by closing this tab, and every other tab, and get back to work. You won’t hurt my feelings if you go now.
You need to stop stalling and get back to work. Know what it is you are doing and then go for it. Remove all resistance between you and your path to completion. It’s likely that you have made a pattern of this. If this is true then you need to change your digital environment.
It’s likely you have made a pattern of procrastination.
Realize that you are suffering from a systematic depression of attention. Your distracted self if not just at the end of a link; you my friend fall off of the wagon way before that.
Figure out where you start going wrong and cut the head off of the snake there. For me it is blog reading through my RSS feed reader. I just went through the process of deleting about 25 blogs from my every-day-read. This is helping me avoid the very temptation of bad learning and is keeping me on focus.
Eliminate distractions before they distract ya.
Don’t rely on your will power to reject the distractions in front of your face; you will eventually loose that battle every time. Instead, find a way t keep the distractions from every daring near in the first place.