Regan Koopmans

Software Engineer

Removing Distraction

2022-01-17

I am not a massive fan of New Year's resolutions, but I do think that the beginning of a year is a good time to reflect on goals and habits. In the first few weeks of this year I have dramatically reduced the number of distractions I encounter during my productive hours. This includes YouTube, among other sites. After chatting to friends and colleagues I have concluded that YouTube is particularly pernicious to attention. My theory for this is that YouTube can often feel productive. If you are watching a technical talk while your project builds, is that not a good use of your time?

My position now is that I think YouTube is dramatically less "educational" than it feels, unless you are actively watching (rather than passively). This is also true for Hacker News in my opinion, which might keep you up to speed with developments in tech, but I tend to read the comments around the news rather than the news itself.