Well, it really does seem I suddenly have no time to be writing a blog post every week; but where has the time gone? What have I filled it up with? I feel like I need to do a methodical analysis of how I spend my time. Let’s see…8 hours sleeping…work…meals…
I won’t take you through the analysis, don’t worry. But I will do it, and I’ll tell you if I find out anything interesting. As I explained last month, things have gotten a little directionless as I’ve stepped back from a lot of what I was doing. I’m feeling now like it’s time to put some structure back into place, to keep productive and to keep my sanity.
It’s not that I’m afraid of down time, quiet time, solitude and introspection. I’ve had plenty of that, and it has been by and large a good thing, time well spent. No, I’m talking about the time I waste psychically wandering in circles. Mainly, I’m talking about the time I waste online.
Oh, it’s not a total waste. In roughly descending order of value, there are the connections, some of them meaningful, with friends old and new; there are the informative Internet searches and interesting articles I’ve read, some of which enrich my life; there are the chats with boys I may or may not ever meet, the ego boost of knowing I am either sexy or good at taking photos, and the occasional date that results; there are the Scrabble games that I justify by saying they exercise my brain.
All of that arguably has some redeeming value. There’s just too damn much of it.
And the rest of it really is just a flat-out waste of time. I want to get better at noticing when that’s the case — checking the blog stats, answering more inane questions on okcupid, checking facebook or Grindr one last time before going to bed even though I’ve just checked it. I’ve scaled back some, and I’d like to scale back some more. I honestly can’t figure where else the time might be slipping away.
Certainly there are worse things to be addicted to. Nonetheless, I know an unhealthy obsessive behavior when I see one. I create these little rules for myself, and they work well when I follow them, which is rare:
- no computer (or iPhone — it’s the same thing) until I’ve done my chores
- no computer until I’ve meditated
- no computer before eating breakfast and getting dressed
- no computer if I have something better to do
- being with real people trumps being online, always
- no computer after 10:00 PM
- don’t check facebook or email or text or Grindr or any of that crazy shit if I’ve just checked them, or if I’ve checked them recently enough that nobody will care if I wait; once or twice a day is plenty
- don’t touch the phone if I’ve not yet gotten out of bed in the morning, except to turn off the alarm or hit the snooze
- don’t touch the phone if I’ve already gotten into bed at night
- get comfortable leaving the phone at home sometimes
- unless there’s some good reason not to, leave behind the phone on vacation
Eleven little rules to live by. On any given day, I might follow half of them. As with any practice, I hope to get better at this as I go. Wish me luck!