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My week in Hollywood has just finished and I'm now on a plane to Tokyo. Just hearing the Japanese announcements on the airplane's PA brings back fond memories of my trip here last year and makes me more excited to get there.

(Quick aside. The girl next to Todd is sleeping in the most hilarious position I've ever seen. She's kneeling facing the seat with her legs under the seat in front of her. Her head is face down on the seat of the chair, buried in the cushion. I cannot imagine that that's comfortable in any way. I wish I had my camera out to take a picture.)

I waited too long to call people so I didn't get to see all of my old friends, but I did get to see a bunch of them. I stayed at Style's place, spending most of my time working on CD on one couch while he worked on a new book on the other couch. His new girlfriend, an exotic half Indian, quarter Japanese, quarter something else, hung out with us a lot. She's adorable and a lot of fun, and they're in love.

How and Why to Control Social Distractions

On Ideas

Lately I've been thinking about how to be more effective and thus I decided to map exactly where my time was going. The results were great; however, the process of doing it was even better. I feel everyone should do this, spend 1-7 days were they hyper-consciously track their time and were it goes. I noticed that while doing this, every decision I made was one I was responsible for. If I decided to go out to eat, I had to make myself completely accountable for the 30 minutes I would spend not going otherwise.

Out of all the things I was spending my time on that were affecting my productivity, social-distractions were by far the biggest. Its easy to be drawn into socializing, especially in college. And I'm not talking just in person socializing, I'm talking Facebook, answering/sending constant texts, for some possibly having extensive chats with your significant other, and for others playing online video games. Socializing, specifically non-productive and unplanned socializing, can be one of the biggest time sinks if not done deliberately.

The first thing I asked myself in my journey to control social distractions is what did I do before Facebook, before Skype  before constant social accessibility became prevalent? I never really got on that whole messenger/AIM wave in elementary/middle school  cause it honestly seemed like a waste of time. Then I got one of those nifty messengers for the first time in high school and got 1-3 friends on board. I started socializing with them online. It was nothing crazy; most of the time we would just sent each other messages while playing some console game or watching Tv shows or movies.

Fast forward to the last two years. Facebook chat, messengers, Skype  SMS messaging and webapps have made us constantly connected. Almost every web app now has social functions and notifications. for the first time ever, people have 100s of friends all readily available on one platform with notifications on their phone. Before when I got back home from school or during summertime and break times, it was really easy to just focus on whatever I was doing and do it  with 100% focus, whether it was video games, TV shows, work, or read a book.

Now that is not the case. My phone is always vibrating. Someone commented on a photo, posted in one of my Facebook groups, I got a text message from two friends on my phone and one chat message on Facebook. If you go to college or live in a large apartment, people might come up to you, say random things that are on the news or otherwise distract you. I feel like I need to attend to them, like I HAVE to switch my attention (one, if not THE most important thing you have) and attend to it. Of course the need to attend to them is an illusion, albeit a very strong one. One asks themselves what if they said something important? what if they think I'm an asshole if I don't respond? what if.....

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