This article--Social Media and the Deliberate Life--landed in my inbox this morning. That headline resonates with how I've been feeling about life for the past week or so, and I read just about everything Stever Robbins posts. He's my personal productivity guru. It's a 2 minute read. I'll wait.
I know I've been wasting time lately, but I didn't realize how all those short intervals add up over a year. I frequently find myself short of mental capacity at the end of the work day. If I have a simple project on the needles, I'll happily pick it up and zone out to home improvement, sports, or something else with low engagement on TV. My problem happens when the current projects require a decision or two and I just can't think that hard. Then, I turn on the tv and play with my phone or iPad checking Facebook, Ravelry, Twitter, or playing low brain puzzle games. Why do I this?
I haven't done this this week. Monday, I came home frustrated and banged on the loom a bit before dinner. Yesterday, I went to yoga class after work for the first time in months (I had a doctor ordered hiatus for most of this year due to a shoulder injury). In both cases I then put together some dinner and was productive for the rest of the evening. That hour of breathing or creating cleared my brain just enough to carry through until bed time. Today, I ran an errand after work, and I stopped for tea while I was out and about. Same head clearing result; I came home and drafted two blog posts before dinner. After dinner I wove a bit and then started winding the next warp.
There's something to be said for replacing one no brain activity with a better, more productive, one. I'm accepting Stever's simple challenge for the next three weeks. I'll be on vacation for one of those weeks, so in some ways it's a two week challenge with a week to reset habits in the middle.
Choose what to stop. Where are you spending your time out of habit or addiction, yet getting little joy from it? Does your time on social media give you enough joy to warrant the time? Are there hobbies that you’ve outgrown? Friends who have diverged? TV shows that just fill time?
Eliminate one. Just for a few weeks.
I will stop playing those addictive iPhone games. I have already deleted my 2 favorites.
I will not log into Facebook until after I've written my NaBloPoMo post. I won't stop completely since I'm finding blog post inspiration in a few writing groups. Those and the posts about making things give me plenty of joy. I just need to skim past the news.
Start something better. Replace it with something that brings you joy, that moves your life forward. Maybe something old that would bring you joy to revisit. Or something new you’ve wanted to do but never gotten around to.
If I truly have very little brain, I will turn off the TV and pull out the yoga mat. The only way my shoulder will fully recover is if I start using it carefully. After that, I can turn on the TV and pull out my knitting or spinning.
If I do have brain, I will write, weave, or do something else to connect with my creativity instead of sitting.
Want to join me and compare notes on the day after Thanksgiving? I will do this for three weeks.