Sunday, August 31, 2008

Unplugged Saturday Recap

Gollum and his ring. Lance Armstrong and his bike. Threeundertwo and her laptop.

It was a rough day yesterday. I caught myself heading to the spot where the computer usually sits at least 20 times. Every single time I had to remind myself that I wasn't going to turn it on today.

I wanted to do some online banking.
I wanted to see what the LOLcats were up to.
I wanted to twitter about the tabbouli I was making.
I wanted to look up a recipe.
I wanted to get past that monkey level on Jewelquest III.
I wanted to look on Craigslist for a chair.

But they all had to wait. And I discovered, that with few exceptions, I could survive without having my computer on all day. But was surviving worth it?

What got done:
I spent most of the day with the girls doing their back-to-school shopping. Do you know how hard it is to find pants for a long-legged pre-teen who is shaped like a toothpick? It took hours.

I cooked up a storm, helped Jungle Boy with a Bach piece on the piano, worked on a needlepoint ornament, and got some laundry done.

Was life better?

  • I did the same amount of things I would get done on a day with the computer; it didn't seem to free up any time.
  • Nobody in the family noticed that I was off the computer and the computer was off the counter. Maybe they're all used to it?
  • I worried about little things I needed to get done, like the online banking and emails to PTA people.
So now my real goal is clear, I want to figure out how to be more efficient with my computer time. Maybe having constant access to a computer is efficient after all.

As I sat there in a cold sweat yesterday, I took out pen and paper and thought about all the things I do on the computer. It's quite a list. I prioritized. Next step is to strategize when each of these things get done. I feel like I'm organizing a closet full of useful but messy items.

You can stop reading now, but here's my list. Somehow twitter and playing games didn't make the cut. . .

  1. hotsync my pda
  2. read all my email and respond to it
  3. online banking
  4. update quicken files for PTA
  5. update spreadsheet of tutor assignments that I've coordinated
  6. email tutors
  7. print out the week's schedule from my calendar program
  8. upload pictures
  9. menus and shopping list in MasterCook Deluxe 9.0
  10. backup files
  1. write next post
  2. How Do You Do It? post
  3. The Secret is in the sauce
  4. visit blogs of commenters on my blog
  5. visit blogs I've put on my "A list" on my reader
  6. visit the rest of the blogs on my blogroll
  7. visit the networks I belong to
Time Permitting
  1. Visit my fellow Christmas fanatics
  2. Read the news
  3. Work on my latest shutterfly book
  4. upload old pictures (I want to get everything stored online)
  5. Update my Netflix queue
  6. Check what's free on Craigslist
  7. Visit my fellow Disney fanatics
  8. make a toonlet
  9. I can has cheezburger
  10. Update my massive list of creative projects
  11. See what's on sale at Amazon
  12. download music and ebooks
  13. Keep track of my goals on Joe's Goals
  14. Stay inspired to lose those last few at sparkpeople
So I guess overall my screen-free day was useful. I have a new vision for how I will spend my time on the computer. Hopefully I will feel a better sense of accomplishment and get everything done that I need (and want) to get done.

But I don't think I need to subject myself to a computer-free day ever again (shudder).

11 people stopped folding laundry to write:


I am soooooo with you on the prioritizing deal. I am starting to homeschool and I have to find a part-time job. So, my time will be much reduced. I have to prioritize and become more efficient with my online time. Maybe we should start an on-line support group. ;->

Liz Jimenez said...

Heh, I almost commented on your post about internet addiction. Then I realized I was about to comment on a blog, while on vacation, sitting in a car, on my iPhone. Addiction, indeed.

I'm justifying it to myself by saying that blogging and its associated things provides a certain amount of social support, as well as a semi-creative outlet. But still... it's probably a problem. ;-)

Aimz said...

oooh I adore lolcats and loldogs! As for your internet time, is there any way you can spend the morning up until 12pm doing your stuff while the kids are at school? That way you have the afternoon and evening free, well sort of free but not really when you have a family :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are way more organized than I am, good for you! It's so hard to breakaway from it and I agree it's not worth it either.

Bob and Jenn Peacock said...

You have made me very tired! I have tried to do "no computer days" which really drove me nuts. I am a internet addict and I am okay with it. :)

Scary Mommy said...

Phew!! I was worried you'd see some sort of light and never come back. Glad to hear life on the other side isn't all it's cracked up to be! :)

Laura said...

I think my husband would appreciate it so much if I did that.

Award for you at my place.

Eileen said...

I am so glad you did this test, came to this conclusion.. and let us all know about it so we don't have to go through it ourselves!

Anonymous said...

This was facinating to me. I just spent a week with another family in abeach house. A beach house that indeed had wireless. However- everytime I opened my laptop I felt ridiculed. The other familiy kept making fun of me...saying I was addicted. So you know what I did? I went to 'bed' early and sat in our bathroom and worked on the computer. I need it for so much more than blogging. Shoe shopping for the kids. Uploading my photos to my business. heck I even order groceries online. I want it. I need it. I want to make a list like you did and post it in the house....

Nancy said...

*phew!* I'm so glad you came to your senses ;) heh

I check my email to see if I have any new comments. On my phone. In the bathroom. At 3am. *sigh* I feel your pain.

Des said...

Your time permitting list cracks me up! That's ME! It's almost scary. I don't know if I like it all written out. What frightens me most is that I tend to be an "all or nothing" type, I think. I either want to do this blogging/computer thing or not. I could get rid of it all tomorrow with no regrets. But I'd feel like a failure. Like I've let someone down? How silly is that? I am rambling and I should be finishing up a project so that I can blog about. This IS nuts. Maybe I'll just go see Mamma Mia again.

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