Art for a peaceful and flourishing world

Is Your Computer Sucking Up Your Time? Tips for Staying Focused

Artist-Gaia-Orion-Managing-Time-On-The-ComputerOne of the biggest challenge self-employed colleagues and artist’s friends have is how to integrate some discipline regarding the time spent on the computer. I find that the world of technology brings a huge distraction to my days.

It is obvious that having a website, writing a blog, posting regular news on social media and occasionally searching online for new connection opportunities are becoming essential to presenting ourselves to the world.

Just taking the time to answer emails properly and promptly is enough of a task each day! I find that the nature of the technology is also conducive to over multi-tasking as well as feeling scattered and unfocused.

Here is how it goes:

I go to the computer to write an email. When I open my inbox, I see new emails. I answer one of them which needed a few attachments; I needed to update some of the attachments, resize photos on Photoshop to requirements etc… Second email: I follow a link and read a great article, check out more information on the subject; now I am online and my facebook tab is open when I hear a notification beep, I check that and end up reading the newsfeed, comment on posts… and now an hour has gone by and I still have not started the email I wanted to write to begin with! I am sure this happens to you just as often as it does to me.

An hour! And I find myself sometimes pretending that I have not enough time for meditation, yoga, walking or even for painting sometime!

I came up with a few tips to help myself integrate some discipline into these sort of days! Here is my little list so far:

  •  I start my day with the absolute priorities for my health and well-being no matter what. I cannot trick myself into the “I will do it later today” as I have now found that this rarely happens!
  •  Before I turn on the computer I make a list of what needs to be done. This keeps me focused during my time on it.
  • When I am painting, if an idea crosses my mind (a facebook post, emailing someone, google information…) I simply write them down on a notebook that I keep by my easel and do it later or the next day when it is computer time.
  •  I do not leave my facebook tabs or my email program open while working on other projects on the computer. That way I am not lured sporadically into the boundless world of social media distraction and fun at each notification beep!
  • Before venturing into a spontaneous “non-planned” large task (editing files, updating my website, sorting photos…) I ask myself is this urgent? Do I really have to do this now? Often the answer is no and this allows me to go back to my easel. I put it on the to-do list and will do this work on a day where I will have less emails to attend to or less computer work to do.
  • The days I really want to focus on painting, I don’t turn the computer on until I have dedicated a specific amount of hours to my paintbrushes.
  • Once in a while I will give myself a no-computer day which is always a cleansing experience. The electromagnetic field of all these toys is clearly proven to be harmful for our bodies, so giving our system some time away is a good and balancing practice.

Of course some days are better than others, we can’t beat ourselves down when a day doesn’t line up with our plans. A soft and gentle approach is just as important as a little sustained focus and discipline. The key is balance!

Please share any tips with me that you have come up to deal with technological distractions as I am sure I could use a few more!


  1. Hi Gaia!
    thank for talk your experience.
    (i dont speak english 😉 but google help)
    my best experience about, its when just awaken, stay in quiet and silence, in meditation. Quiet my heart, quiet my think, just in my action. less its more!

    bless for your life art

    Inlak’ech Namaskar

    • You are so right Inlak’ech Namaskar! Meditating is part of “the absolute priorities for my health and well-being” when I wake up! Thank you for sharing.

  2. A kitchen timer that ticks (mine is a penguin) and I set it for however long I am allowing myself computer time. The ticking reminds me to stay focused as I only have so much time!

    • What a great idea Thera! I would especially set the timer when scrolling on social media!

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