On waiting and attention
On waiting When there are no immediate tasks to be done, what are you waiting for? I assume you are waiting for something new to pop up. Maybe someone will need something from you, or you will remember an obligation that you have to fulfill. Why then, are you waiting? Mindlessness is not a rest from your work it is regression. You harm yourself by spending any amount of time being mindless. That is far different than resting, which serves a specific purpose and must be done so that you can do your best work later. But resorting to entertainment? To distractions? To the approval of others? None of these things will give you what you are waiting for. Your remedy is simple—when all else is done, stop everything and reflect. Don't sit down and relax. Use this time to reflect on the work you've done and completed and decide what your next step will be. Be clear, be direction-oriented, know your purpose, and act based on those things. I promise you that if you take time to plan how you will make progress, you will not think that any of your mindlessness is worth it.
On attention Make a point to contrast yourself by paying attention to completely different things than others pay attention to. The most prominent example is the news. Most people pay attention to it and seriously care about it as they do. It seems like they forget that the same news they paid their full attention to last week means nothing this week. Yet, for the next seven days, they will repeat the process.
One thing holding these people back from ceasing to watch is the fear of missing out. Missing out on what? If anything truly exciting or monumental happens, you will hear about it, provided you don't live in a cave. Somebody else will bring the news to you, rather than the other way around.
This goes for many things that seem to demand your attention. You don't need to stress yourself out by devoting your entire mental capacity to watching charts and metrics. You don't need to be so self-conscious as to forget about other people. If you were the opposite of extremely self-conscious—that is, conscious more of others than yourself—people would love you for it! They would also recognize the important fact that you are different. Completely different than everyone else who is self-absorbed. That is the beauty of diverting your attention from what the crowd sees. You will gain a sort of superpower by simply controlling your mind rather than letting it be pulled back and forth by the will of others.