On Saturday I spent a lot of time "working." By working I mean, goofing around on the computer. I did get a lot done on my blog, but I didn't get other things done that needed to get done because I just sort of got sucked into computerland. In my head I was "busy," but I need to be honest with myself.
Is this the way I want to parent....from behind a computer screen?
Of course, my job and responsibilities require me to spend time on the computer each day. What I have realize though is that spending time working on the computer often leads to wasting time on the computer. So I've been thinking of ways to help myself a bit with that.
First of all I need to be more efficient. I have this really bad habit of opening about 10 windows at a time and going back and forth from this article, to my coaching, to facebook, and then over to twitter and back again. Let's face it, this kind of multi-tasking is not making good use of my time. So, I downloaded a free time tracker software (www.RescueTime.com), that will record all of my online use, so I can see how I am really spending my time. My plan is to use this for a week to give myself an idea of how I can streamline my computer time. I have to admit, I'm a little bit scared to see what this will show. I also think I will already start changing how long I keep certain windows open!
I am also going to start thinking about setting aside certain times of the day to unplug. It's so easy to let doing a quick check of email after dinner turn into multiple hours of surfing the net instead of spending quality time with my husband (and by quality time, of course, I mean watching tv...I never said I was perfect!!) I am pretty good about being unplugged when my kids are home, although there are days that even that slips. Also, since one of my #project30days goals is to get up early each day, it's probably a really good thing to avoid late nights staring at a computer. One thing that I did quite a while ago to aid my sleep habits was to install f.lux which is a program that dims the blue light emitted from your screen after sunset, so if you are on the computer at night it doesn't mess up your sleep rhythms.
I will also give myself credit for what I have gotten done in a day. I have a tendency to be a hypercritical and pretty hard on myself. I have to make sure that my perception is as close to reality as possible. For example, on Saturday, even with all my goofing around, I was able to bake a cake and sweet potatoes for Easter lunch, update the design and layout of my blog including adding two new pages, make the #project30days button out of the picture my sister created for me, practice my flute, spend time in quiet reflection, ride my bike, do two loads of laundry, clean the kitchen, clean and dust my bedroom, spend some time catching up with my neighbor, finish all of the Easter basket preparations and make two kinds of homemade pizza for dinner. That is kind of a lot of stuff that I got done, so I need to recognize that not all of my time was wasted yesterday.
And lastly, I am going to make sure I am spending real time with my kids. Time that doesn't involve a screen of any kind, including my phone. I don't know about you, but it's so easy to take out the phone to snap a picture, but then I want to post it to Instagram, so I have to figure out which filter I want to use, and then I want to see what is in my feed really quick, and then, since the phone is out, I might as well check my email and texts...it goes on and on, right? So, if I want to take a picture, I'll take it and load it up later. If the phone rings, I'll ignore it because I'm pretty sure there isn't anything happening that is more important than spending time with my family.
Do you face similar challenges? What do you do to be more efficient with your time?