I don't know about you, but sometimes it seems that I spend large part of my day connected to technology. I check email. I do online banking. I look for deals and discounts from various sources, I read the news, I read blogs. Frankly, it can be incredibly easy to spend a day in front of the computer, or attached to the Ipad.
Don't get me wrong, I find the Internet and the accompanying modes of technology both interesting and intriguing. I enjoy surfing and exploring online as much as the next retiree. When I think about the things we could do now that even ten years ago were not thought of I am often astounded. That said, technology is always with us, and I personally find it more threatening to my time and energy than television-even cable. With television, I only view in the evening, and generally when my body clock is at it's lowest. In other words, much of the time I would not be doing anything else.
So...................I've been looking for small ways to "unplug" if you will. I don't want to give up my laptop or smart phone, but I want to be the one in control. To that end, I've been making a couple small changes as well as a rather larger one.
I used to take my laptop into the living room while watching TV, or into the bedroom and play for awhile before bed. Now I do neither. If the show is one that allows me to do something else at the same time (I'm a sports addict, so it happens), I write (longhand) I knit, or I just relax and visit with friends and family when they are around.
I followed the advice given by an organizational author I read some time ago (trust me, none of the other organizational skills took). I discovered that by following her advise to "never check email in the morning", my day started out much better and I got much more accomplished (even if it was that sitting on the patio and watching the dogs). Once I would have grabbed my beverage and headed to the desk to read email and check news. Now I take my coffee on the patio for a better way to wake up in the morning. I start slowly, moving at the mood strikes. Today I picked up the house, set everything out for an art project for school, sewed a bit, watered all the plants and took a walk. Then I grabbed my lunch and headed for the ole email and blog reading. This has been a huge difference. Part of the reason this works well for me is that my afternoon is more structured. I have natural breaks such as feeding the dogs, getting things out for dinner-in other words I am forced to walk away from the desk. I also have a natural finish time.Equally importantly, I find that I have missed little by this change in schedule. Really, there is nothing that I need to read or see at 8 or 9 am that I cannot see at 2 PM.
Finally, I'm giving up my technology (and my phone calls) for a single day a week. On Sunday I ignore the computer and all phone calls not from immediate family. The only time I get on the computer is if we have agreed in advance to Skype at a certain time-other than that I'm completely unplugged.
I have no idea what will happen in the future. All I know is for now, for me, this backing off, this become less plugged, well, it's working just ine.
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