so, this is an update on my post on internet usage monitoring from several weeks ago. I’ve been using the online time tracker on my laptop for five weeks now, and here are the usage figures:

Week 1 – 11 hours
Week 2 – 10 hours
Week 3 – 12 hours
Week 4 – 18 hours
Week 5 – 11 hours

one thing I found annoying about the programme is that after the first week I kept forgetting to switch off my laptop, so I would come back to it to find I had racked up time while not getting the benefit of it. which is as annoying as if I slept-ate chocolate chip cookies – all the calories, none of the yum…

what these figures don’t show is the usage on my phone. because at about Thursday on Week 2 I caved entirely, and started checking my phone just as often as ever before, and have continued to do so, since. so those figures considerably understate my actual usage.

not sure what I want to do about that. I could install similar software or app on my phone, as Haggis suggested? or whether I want to go back to not using my iphone to go online. it did make me feel considerably less scattered when I did so. I will ponder those ones.

a definite and highly unexpected outcome of the experiment so far is how utterly it proves to me the logical fallacy behind my most frequently used justification:

“I haven’t got time.”

because clearly I HAVE got time to go online. so I have time to go for a run, or tidy my desk, or whatever it is that I know would bear better fruit than gazing into the Internet.  I posted this cartoon over a year ago and it still holds true:

interestingly, I think when I last posted it, I was more afraid of the task I needed to do. now I am less afraid – it is more that I find it difficult both to prioritise between different tasks, and to get started. and in the last 5 weeks this truth has pervaded sufficiently to enable me to reply, robustly:

“well, stuff that!”

when my inner mouse tells me I haven’t got time to go for a run, and jolly well go for a run. so I am now running five times a week, one of the best possible things for my own mental health. so, that’s a win.

one tip (from Eric Zimmer, I think?) is if you find yourself thinking, “I haven’t got time to …whateveritis” is to reframe the sentence as

“whateveritis… isn’t a priority for me right now.”

and see how that makes you feel. because you may feel fine about that –

“hoovering the sitting room floor isn’t a priority for me right now:” – fine.

“reading a bedtime story isn’t a priority for me right now:”  – alarm bells.

and what I’m coming up with is that often ‘”I haven’t got time” really means…

  • I can’t face this because I’ve already been putting it off for too long
  • this is boring and I don’t want to do it
  • I don’t deserve to spend this time on myself (ouch)
  • my workload controls me, not the other way round
  • I’m focusing on the short term visible results, rather than the long term invisible ones
  • I’m rejecting the priorities of others out of resentment, rather than considering their needs

and I am sure there are many other underlying motives I could come up with. you know – if I had time 😉

if you have your own personal translations of “I haven’t got time”, and are happy to share them, I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Monday! Prim xx

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