Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

Wasted Time

on April 26, 2016

Most people who own a computer have done this at least once or twice. I’ve done it more like three or four times, which makes me above average, right? Here’s the scenario: I go to my computer to do something. Then I see something else. And that leads to something else. And now 45 minutes have passed. And usually at this point I’ve not done what I set out to do, nor am I happy or rejuvenated. I’ve just fallen once again into the black hole of the internet. Damn.

I posted about this on Facebook, hoping to get some answers. Because I have the very best friends, I got lots of interesting feedback, and I know I’m not alone in my struggle to stay away from meaningless activity at the screen.

Holly Block Dillon, a life coach, asked an interesting question: how is it negatively impacting your life? I had no problem answering this: “It’s like junk food — satisfying in the moment, but a bad idea in the long run. It takes time away from things that matter to me and makes me feel lazy and unfocused. I feel anxious when I see projects that I could be working on, but I’m not.” The negative effect is enhanced when I start my day by getting onto the computer and checking email and Facebook.

Knowing the why got me to ask Tim if he could find software that would limit the hours I use the computer. (Love that I have in-house tech support here!) Because I’m a shitty sleeper, middle of the night is especially dangerous for me, so I was hoping to limit internet access from say 11 at night till 6 in the morning. He said one way to do it was with parental control software, but then I had a fit and we didn’t talk about that again. 🙂

He was able to find free software that limits loading new pages, and that’s been on my computer for about a week and a half and it’s helping. I don’t have any answers when it comes to too much time on a smartphone. There are benefits to being older and one of them is that I prefer my desktop to my phone by a lot, so that’s kind of self limiting already.

My nephew, Jackson Miller, recommended RescueTime and I’m going to try that too. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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