I absolutely have to get my act together.
Every night I find myself rushing out of work on time and coming home to … hmmm … nothing? G travels four days a week and I’m totally at loose ends most evenings. When we lived in Florida the neighbours all sat around and drank wine in the evening, but that’s not exactly a healthy way to live (hey, it was a preview of retirement!) I do spend too much unstructured time on the internet. I accomplish nothing and I don’t even set goals. Yes, blogging helps because I do feel like I’m accomplishing something, even if it’s only developing an outlet for my thoughts.
It’s not like the internet is an evil being that negatively transformed my life. I’ve had a computer and internet connection since 1994 and trust me, I’ve accomplished a lot in 20 years. I don’t argue that I spend far too much time looking at a screen, but before there was the internet there were other diversions. For years I was compelled to read the newspaper cover-to-cover before I left for work, which meant I was late every single day. (That was actually a “little” problem that was at least partially solved by 50-minutes each Wednesday.) Seems like there were always diversions, however I used to be better at breaking away from that focus and moving on to other, more constructive things.
I conducted a little experiment this week when I was at work. I kept a steno pad beside my keyboard and wrote down everything I did – minute by minute. G is a Six Sigma Black Belt and spends his days making people more productive – and he wasn’t thrilled with my method, but I still think I came up with an accurate thesis. When I focus – when I actually think about what I’m doing and am accountable for it – I get a lot more done. I actually left work today feeling that I’d had a successful week. My work is organised, my desk is clean and there’s a list of projects for Monday morning.
It was this simple: when I had to write down every time I looked at my phone, or went to a website for personal reasons, I would find my conscious self saying “no.” My employer treats me really well and there’s no reason to be passive aggressive and steal time away from it.
So this weekend I’m going to try to do the same thing here at home. Sure, I can decide to spend an hour on Jelly Splash and two hours on Etsy, but I suspect there will be some progress on a goal (including actually setting goals). And maybe on Sunday night, when I crawl into bed one hour earlier, I’ll actually have something to dream about.