Yes, the “digital” debt. Financial debt has something to with your money, this takes a toll on your time (which is even more scarce). It’s when you become “obliged” (morally or financially) to involve in a digital activity even if you don’t want to (or you’d be better of doing something else).
In the recent months, I went insane poking my nose in every opportunity that was thrown at me (because some great people say “grab’em all”). Few things turned into my favor, and a lot didn’t. But those few were enough to disrupt the calm in my life.
- I’ve been mentoring Google Summer Of Code.
- Participating as a Project Admin in GirlScript Summer of Code for wtfpython.
- Being somewhat involved in maintaining coala, and specifically my previous GSoC project coala-quickstart
- Developing a course on Reinforcement Learning with Packt Publishing.
- Recently guest blogged a couple of articles, and have couple more in the pipeline.
- Speaking at a few meetups
- Applying at Pycon’s, and other programs
- Freelancing by attending a couple of old clients
And on top of that I’ve to constantly look after the comments/issues/doubts addressed at my past projects like wtfpython, blockchain blog post for IBM, and my other blog posts.
No, I’m not bragging here (for that I’ve my social media accounts :p). And from surface, it might appear that I’m growing like anything, but it has started to suck.
In each and every committment, there’s a hell lot of back-and-forth communication involved, and there are these “prompts” to reply people throughout the day. Everyone is expecting me to reply immediately, and even I can’t get over the feeling that I “owe” my attention to them. To make things worse, everyone has a “preferred” communication channel, and my phone is flooded with IM apps likes Skype, Slack, Telegram, Viber, Gitter, Whatsapp, and Hangouts.
Although, I had parted my ways with those glorious notifications months ago (and I still continue to be “on a break”), but at the back of my mind, I have this feeling that someone might be needing my response and an urge to reply to get done with all this. Always. And this doesn’t happen, what follows one reply is another reply, and that too not immediately, after some time. So that “urgency” to reply is put in a continuous never ending loop throughout the day (and even nights, because people are living in different timezones too).
Why does this make me mad sometimes?
- I had to deny some pretty cool opportunities in the past because I had no space for further committments (and this “letting go” hurts, sometimes)
- I’m not being able to get the so-called necessary “self-time” recently. And the fact that I’d soon be joining a full-time job freaks me out even more (I’m supposed to be doing what I’m currently doing, move into a new city, and spend 8 hours in a job, lol).
- Due to no “self-time”, I’m left with literally no time to;
- Read books
- Implement “cool” projects like wtfpyhon
- Practice my guitar
- And most importantly, spend time with my family or go traveling
- Usually in the past, I’ve had very few committments, seeking contentment going “all-in” to those. I’m kind of a guy who loves to work at the same things for a long uninterrupted stretch of 10-12 hrs, and it has worked nice for me in the past. But now since I’m at multiple boats to float into, I’ve to divide my time and plan accordingly (something that I’m really bad at). It’s hard for me to switch to a new task when I know there’s more that I can do in the existing one.
- My TODO-list is growing “exponentially”, I’m putting in way more tasks then I’m finishing.
- And on top of all that, I’m not feeling “great” about whatever is happening currently.
I wanted to write about this since very long, and never got time (because, digital debt). And at this very moment, I see a lot of unread emails/messages to which I feel obliged to reply, yikes. Anyways, I’ve been figuring out how to pay-off this digital debt, and made some progress. How? Is a concern of another blog-post, until then…