Tag / focus

By the looks of his laptop, Robbert Van Els could be mistaken for a secret agent. His screen is an explosion of urgent files — a master control center for managing clandestine operatives. The man of mystery persona is typified by a side-sliding sports car winding through an onslaught of Word docs and Jpeg files. Just looking at his desktop can raise your blood pressure.

But Van Els is not a secret agent. He’s a mess.

before desktop distraction

Val Els’ desktop before

 

In fact, Van Els’ LinkedIn profile says he is in the “custom made earplugs” business. Apparently, there is no correlation between the mayhem on one’s laptop and the adventure in one’s life. Anyone can find themselves drowning in desktop clutter and research suggests this digital detritus costs us time, degrades performance, and kills concentration.

HAL 9000If the Internet had a voice, I am fairly certain it would sound like the HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

“Hello Nir,” it said to me in its low, monotone voice. “Glad to see you again.”

“Internet, I just need a few quick things for an article I’m writing,” I’d reply. “Then it’s back to work. No distractions this time.”

“Of course Nir, but while you are here, won’t you look at what Paul Graham just wrote?”

“No Internet,” I’d resist. “I’m just here to find some specific information, I can’t be distracted.”

“Of course Nir,” the Internet would say. “But this article about LOLCats addiction is related to your work. Give it a click, won’t you?”

“Interesting.” I’d say hesitantly. “Just a quick read and then it’s back to work.”

3 hours later I would realize the time I’d wasted clicking and curse the Internet for sucking me into its mind vortex yet again.