Shiny Object Syndrome

I admit it. I’m terrible at staying focused. Especially when you put me in front of a computer, I find it easy to get distracted by the million and one things that can distract a computer user… emails coming in constantly, IM messages bleeping at me every few minutes, RSS feeds constantly updating and all the other services that tend to bombard one with “stuff”. Sometimes, especially when I need to write, it would be good to just shut it all out for a while and resist the temptation to answer that email, respond to that IM or browse that RSS feed.

I suppose I COULD try to use a bit of self discipline and just ignore these things, but where’s the fun in that? I COULD turn off all that stuff and just shut it out, but it’s too tempting to need a distraction from what I should be doing… and that’s the problem in the first place.

So I thought this piece of software looked interesting… it’s called WriteRoom, and basically turns your fandangled, geewhiz, all-the-bell-and-whistles MacBook Pro into something about as distracting as an Apple IIe. Writeroom blanks your screen to fullscreen mode, and gives you plain green text on a black background. Your digital world is hidden behind the fullscreen mode and can be retrieved in a single keystroke, but all the distracting IMs and emails are shut out temporarily… sounds like a good idea to me. Windows users can use a similar tool called Dark Room.

I think it’s worth a look if you also suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Shiny Object Syndrome by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

That's all well and good, but what do YOU think?