October 22, 2007

Internet Addiction and Hobby Triage

I’m afraid I got a little distracted over the weekend. For those of you who can recall all the ramblings I’ve posted over at my GameDev.net journal (which in a sane world should equate to roughly none of you) you might recall that I was thinking of starting a webcomic. Indeed, I listed this as one of the things to do in 2007. Now I’ve got my own web hosting I should have been making more in-roads on this, and it’s bugging me that it looks like I might let this slide into 2008.

I spent a large chunk of the weekend doing prep work running through ideas to see whether a webcomic idea was feasible. Or rather, that’s what I wanted to do, but instead I spent a lot of time reading stuff on the Internet. This has become a common distraction for me, with so much knowledge (and much more pointless trivia) merely a second away. It can also lead to further distractions, like how my “research” led me to rekindle my fledgling interest in typology and font creation. I think it’s progressed beyond mere time-wasting and starting to become an addiction.

I’m a bit concerned I might be overloading myself with all these hobbies. My goal is to become a jack of all trades, and that requires obtaining a fair level of proficiency in a number of fields. However if I attempt too many things at once I’ll just skim over the top of all of them and never progress more than a beginner level. My feeling is that I need to do some triage on my hobbies and make sure I’ve got the time to commit to the ones I keep.

I’m not sure I’ve put enough thought into what I need to prioritise, so I’m not going to drop anything just yet. However I am going to put in a conscious effort to stop spending so much time on the Internet. I can’t really wean myself completely off it; I need the Internet to do my research and to communicate with people; but I can stop myself idling away the day on forums and Wikipedia searches. I’ll still be occasionally checking into places like GameDev.net, but not for as long. I’ll see whether this has any effect on my productivity.

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3 Comments on Internet Addiction and Hobby Triage

October 31, 2007

David @ 12:55 pm:

I hear you. I can get lost in the internet in about flash-of-a-second. I love it and hate it at the same time. When I really want to get something done, all it takes is a single click to have me reading an article, that leads me to another article… Oye!

Trying to be a jack-of-all-trades causes a dilemma. You practice on so many disciplines, you lose time on perfecting one specific trade. This could be good, and it could be bad.

If you overload yourself, you could be hurting your chances at learning what you need to know to get to that next position in your career. It’s a question about where you are in your life and where you want to go.

And at the moment I’m currently failing in my resolve to stay off the Internet, having my email checker on constantly for replies like this while I browse through the Television Tropes and Idioms Wiki I discovered a few days ago - sigh.

Kevin "Kaisel" @ 5:58 pm:

Man, I lost so much time to TVTropes, it’s a great site.

I find that the best way to get off the internet is to drop it cold turkey for a day or two, if you can afford to. After that, I find it a little difficult being as interested in a lot of websites that I used to visit.

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