43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Laptops: A blessing or a curse?

When I got my first laptop, I loved the exhilarating freedom of whipping it out anytime I "needed" it. No matter where I am, I could work on a project, balance a budget, or play a video game. Years later, despite its "convenience", I'm dangerously married to my laptop.

It's with me virtually everywhere. On the bus, at work, at home, in bed. And yes, it even goes with me to the toilet--the perfect time for multi-tasking, right? According to my estimate, I spend twice as much time looking at an LCD screen than high-definition reality.

My laptop, supposedly handy, is now just an easy excuse to work (or procrastinate) at any time, all the time. I need help, and it's time for an intervention.

Do you have an unhealthy marriage with your laptop? Have you switched back to desktops? How have you coped? Please share.

fgzr's picture

Using the laptop for useless things...

I find that the mobility of the laptop is a really good excuse for finding more things to do with the laptop. It's so much easier to stay up to date with the laptop that you start to find things to stay up to date with: websites, rss, news, forums, blogs, twitter, email, even GTD task management.

My solution is to step away from the laptop (or at least connecting it to wifi). Use it only when absolutely necessary for just one week and you'll start to find new things to occupy your time with. More than just that, when you do sit back to procrastinate/fiddle with your laptop, you'll realize that in your absence you really didn't miss all that much.

Since i stepped away from my computer for a while, I've eliminated auto inbox updating, RSS feeds, most of the websites i would regularly visit, and much more. When I find myself wandering aimlessly on the computer to one of these things, I just turn it off and find something else to do.

Why not spend those extra minutes doing something recreational or leisure? Sitting back and staring and obsessing over unimportant information is the equivalent of staring at a blank screen. Go do something less stressful and more productive.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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