This is a challenge that I need to do – badly. I’ve been meaning to do something to help loosen the grip that social media has on my productivity, but the grip was so strong I haven’t managed it yet!
Well, now I have no excuse. The gauntlet has been thrown, a challenge set by Brooke from Slow Your Home. And challenging it will be for me to go tech-lite while in New York at one of the biggest blogging conferences on the planet! However, it will all be relative – we’re not abandoning technology and social media, just cutting out the needless extraneous ‘stuff’. Besides, I’d rather be looking at New York through the lens of my camera, not reading about it on a constant stream of Twitter ;).
Over to you Brooke . . .
Thanks for getting behind this challenge, Laney! I’m equal parts nervous and excited at the prospect of going tech-lite for the month of August. It is something I desperately need, and hopefully the positives we discover will help kick the mindless iPhone habit for good!
You don’t know what happened.
One minute you were checking your email on the smart phone (which lives in your pocket) while the kids were happily playing. The next you’ve been on Twitter, read 4 blogs, checked the news online, downloaded a time-management app and repeatedly looked at Facebook.
It’s 23 minutes later and you forget what you were doing in the first place.
That, my friends, is the Connection Time-Vampire. And he’s feasting on your day.
It’s Time to Go Tech-Lite
As a writer (and a human) I’m a huge proponent of simple living, reducing stress and questioning the value of our actions. Yet mindless connection (think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, emails, stats checking, insert your addictive social media here) is robbing us of hours every week.
Hours that I could spend writing, or reading, or playing with the kids. Running, doing yoga, laying on my back and staring at clouds. You know, stuff that lights me up. Important stuff.
I really believe that limiting the amount of time we are connected, and limiting the amount of information we let into our heads (because, really, there is a limit to how much is useful) is one way to make massive, awesome changes to our lives.
But here’s the weird thing:
While I understand it, believe it, and will tell other people all about how important it is, this is one area I haven’t been able to make any lasting change in my life. For some reason, I’m coming up empty every time I try. Five minutes after I declare, “That’s it! I’m going offline!” you can find me checking for emails while getting the kids lunches.
I am tired of feeling out of control when it comes to my time. Are you?
Then follow along as Laney and I go tech-lite for the month of August.
How Does the Tech-Lite Challenge Work?
Laney is a (super) blogger [editor: well I don't know about that! Do I need a cape?] and I run a growing blog too. As many of you know, this requires a certain amount of online time every day. On top of that is writing, research and email, and I’m not suggesting we do away with any of that.
The aim is to cut way back on the incidental online time (the mindless Facebook/Twitter checking, the constant email refreshes, etc) as well as the Vampire habits that are sucking time from our days – think smartphone in the pocket, laptop constantly open, Firefox tabs blinking with social media icons.
Essentially, we will be connecting mindfully and intentionally, as opposed to absently and passively.
How Can You Disconnect, When Everything Happens Online?
I’m nervous about it, I won’t lie.
But I have a plan of attack:
- It will no longer live in my pocket, but on our hall table
- It will not come into the bedroom. (I have to find a different alarm clock)
- Write a list of online tasks that are absolutely necessary. Prioritise these in order of importance.
- Blog posting
- Admin for the home – banking, bill paying, etc
- Research/image sourcing
- Social media – for blog promotion only
- Set time limits for my online work – and stick to them.
- Early morning – unlimited, until the kids wake. Then the computer is off.
- 2 x 15-minute windows during the day
- one hour after the kids go to bed
- When doing computer work that doesn’t require the internet (writing drafts, etc) disconnect from the internet
- Do I want any free time, just to surf, Pin, catch up on blogs, etc. If so, how much time per day?
- Best time:
- Establish the best time to do this – where I have the opportunity to enjoy it. When the kids are in bed, or early in the morning.
I’m hoping, that by sticking to my guidelines, I will be able to regain lost hours every week. And not feel any ill effects when it comes to my work.
It will (hopefully) mean that I become more efficient, getting the stuff done that I need to, and then am able to move offline and do something else. Something worthwhile.
How about you? Do you want to go tech-lite in August? Regain control of your time?
See you next week, when we report back on week #1 of tech-lite. If you want to join the challenge, then state your accountability in the comments below, then come back next Monday to tell us how you’re finding it!
Brooke McAlary is an aspiring minimalist, blissful gardener, frequent swearer, passionate writer and inappropriate laugher. She is also a happy wife, busy mum and slightly weird Australian.
Slow Your Home is where she writes about Simple Living for Complicated People.
You can find her on Twitter , Facebook and Pinterest. Although, not very frequently during August. ;)
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