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Less Twitter, more building

This is the message I keep telling myself for the past couple of months. After I started a new job at Netflix, it’s been hard for me to find time and motivation to build things outside of work. The most challenging part is knowing that this feeling can compound and get more difficult over time if I don’t take action and keep procrastinating. The longer you stay in this hole harder it becomes to escape.

I don’t know what has changed in me, but I feel mentally tired to think about things I want to do outside of work. I don’t like to work on the weekend unless I have to, but hacking on personal projects two-three hours after work in the evenings has never been hard. I could easily motivate myself to make progress and ship things.

Being addicted to Twitter is a thing, but I don’t know if I should blame Twitter because I clearly get value from it. Over the past years, I’ve built connections on Twitter and found interesting people who share similar interests. It certainly helps to market my projects and build an audience who cares enough about my work that follows me. When I close Twitter, I ask myself. What did I learn from these 5 minutes of scrolling? I don’t like the answer because the answer is almost always nothing. It seems a waste of time.

The way I want to use Twitter is to share my work, get feedback and keep building. One reason I keep opening Twitter might be boredom. When I’m with my friends or doing focus work, a thought never appears to check Twitter. I should probably expose myself to more people and new and fun activities. Of course, it’s hard in times of pandemic.

I’ve now uninstalled the Twitter app so many times that I lost count. I promise myself that I’ll use it only on the web, hoping to keep it away from my phone or iPad. After a short break, I download the app again and get in the same loop. I guess this is what being addicted to technology is.

What am I missing in my life that can only Twitter fulfill? Can I augment the same community or environments in my real life so I don’t have to rely on Twitter to fill that gap? I don’t know, but I’m keen to find it.

I really miss having uninterrupted working hours these days. What I actually miss is when you sit at your desk, write code for 3-4 hours and then check the time, realizing it’s already past midnight. Does this ring a bell? It does for me, and I want that time back. I feel so accomplished and happy after focus sessions. It makes my day and gives me the motivation to do other things in life. You feel less drained and more energized. As a programmer, mental energy is a big asset, and finding ways to recharge is imperative. For every person, it’s different. I know for me, my productive work can energize me.

This is a short writing that I published after the first draft. This is an experiment for me to publish more of my unpolished thoughts. I think it could be helpful for others who’re going through the same. If it’s not helpful, then I know at least writing it brings mental clarity for me.