So… I have a problem. I was thinking today and I realized that I am in front of my computer WAY more than I should be. This occured to me when I woke up from one of my naps and made a beeline for the computer. I then realized that I repeat this behaviour every single time I wake up!
Further, there’s no reason for me to be in front of this giant box ‘o fun. Well, right now there is because I’m writing a post, but for most of the day I DEFAULT to sitting in front of the computer. I scan through the 30 or so sites I have on my toolbar, even though most of them only update once or twice a day at most.
This is sick! Think about it – none of my interesting stories start of with “So, I sat in front of the computer all day…”. Every hour I spend in front of this thing is an hour that my life is NOT getting more interesting. I spend a lot of time online chatting with my friends, which I enjoy, but is that really the best use of my time? Probably not.
What’s worse is that it FEELS like an addiction. I’ll think “I should clean my kitchen.” and then I’ll play freecell. Freecell! As if playing freecell could possibly contribute anything valuable to my life. I routinely shirk other duties to waste time at the computer.
The weak justification I rattle around in my brain is that I use the computer to make my income. Fine. If I was using it to make money even 75% of the time I was in front of it, I would be eating gold covered diamonds onboard a submarine in the pacific.
I’ve often told people that I was going to take up smoking for a month just to quit it and prove that it was easy. But if I kick the computer addiction, that’s MUCH more meaningful, because it’s actually something I’m addicted to, rather than a contrived publicity stunt.
So what’s the plan?
I don’t really have one yet. Let’s work this out.
If I was at the computer for 2 hours a day, that would be more than enough for me to do everything I need to do. Realistically, it would be ideal for me to be monitoring it more frequently, but I’d rather start out at an extreme, and then add some time back in. So that’s easy – I’ll keep a stopwatch near the computer, reset it every day at midnight, and allow myself no more time than 2 hours per day.
The more grey area is my phone. It’s a Treo 650, which is a palm pilot and a phone all smooshed into one. Browsing the web is slow enough that I won’t waste my time, but IMing could become a problem. Actually, my IM program for it is super flaky, so maybe that won’t be a problem. Also, typing on it is somewhat annoying, so I may not be too inclined to use it.
The only exception I’m going to allow is for projects which require the computer. I have a system of 5 computers that are responsible for things in my house (lights, media, internet routing, etc), so obviously those will stay on. One project I”m going to work on is reprogramming some of my lights, which will require I use my laptop to look up stuff. As long as IM and the web browser remain closed, I’ll allow it. Oh… and Freecell will stay closed too.
Now – all that remains to do is to shut this bad boy off. I will report back on how it feels to be free of my computer addiction.
Seriously. I’m gonna do it. You dont’ have to keep reading.