Last week Farhad Manjoo wrote in the NY Times about the troubles of working on “the most distraction machines ever invented”, providing links to many different tools to “tame” your digital distractions.
Some of the biggest distractions users like myself face when connecting to the Internet to get work done are time-sucks like Hulu, Instant messaging, Twitter, Flickr, and any number of flash games. It seems that Farhad is right, this blasted notebook is the most distracting machine invented.
While I find myself drawn to these time-wasters as soon as I sit down at work in the morning or drop in behind a widescreen monitor at home I noticed there’s one place where I don’t feel the same pull; on my netbook.
It’s not that a netbook can’t handle these activities, well mine struggles playing an episode of The Office on Hulu, but the small screen and tendency to heat my lap up to an uncomfortable temperature means I’m more likely to focus on getting one thing done.
Even with Windows 7 and the additional advantages it brings to my small screen when I sit down with my netbook it’s all about extremes. I’m either in full work mode which means a Firefox browser with only a few tabs and an open window for Write or Die or I have Skype, Trillian, Tweetdeck and tabs full of Google Reader links open.
Not only does the small size of my netbook mean it’s with me all the time, it also means I’m more likely to actually work when I open it. Of course if you aren’t dependent on the Internet to work you could turn off Wifi to cut out distractions and save battery life.
So, how about you? Does your netbook help you avoid digital distractions?