This one is simple. The clinical name is “procrastination”. We all know it. Calling it the “Manyana Contingency” is catchy because the word “Manyana” means “tomorrow” in Spanish (and is actually spelled “Mañana” with the little squiggle — called a ’tilde’ — above the first ‘n’).

On the Internet, there are literally millions of distractions that can enrapture us 24/7/365. Social networking and porn are probably the two most primally attractive to the average person. Why? Because social networking is essentially narcissism (“here’s a status post about me and my awesome/boring life!”) with a justifiable techy twist (“these sites help me keep in touch with my friends and loved ones who I’d lose touch with otherwise”).

Consider losing touch with some people whom you couldn’t be bothered to call, email or actually see in real life. The farther you are from physically touching someone, the farther you probably are from being important to them in the real world. There are exceptions, but think about your endless list of “friends” who “like” you online and are constantly pinging you to chat or sending links to cutesy, distracting, time-wasting websites. You can always get new Internet friends [or distant real-life acquaintances on your favorite social network], but time never comes back once it’s gone.

Consider spending more time with those who matter and no time at all with those who don’t. It’s less deceptive than “keeping up appearances” with a huge social network, and it can feel better to know that the people around you actually do care about your well-being rather than merely using you for “likes” the same way that you’re using them. There is strength in weak ties; carefully consider how those weak ties may be silently binding you and choose them wisely.

And porn is porn. Sex is on all of our minds all the time because if it wasn’t, we’d forget or get distracted [probably distracted by the drive to socialize] and then our species would end because there would be no more babies. There’s a lot more to say on how chasing your favorite gender (online or offline) can derail your creativity, but suffice to say here that if it’s a decision between picking up your instrument (whether it’s a pen, a cello or a paintbrush) and picking up sexy boys and girls whom you fancy, always choose the instrument first. Once you get good at what you do, sexy people will find you. Until then, chasing tail is mostly a (pleasant) waste of time, also for various reasons that I expand on elsewhere.

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