Weekend 12: Laptop/Organisation Bursts

This weekend I have dropped my laptop…well, not literally! Unfortunately, the partition (whatever that is) has apparently decided to break and I have to take it into the ASUS service centre to be repaired…which may take <I>up to ten working days</i>. So I may be just a few more days without my laptop, or I may be a whole fortnight without it. I knew I utilise my laptop a lot, but I didn’t realise quite how much I’ve been relying on it until it stopped working. I’ve been using it for obvious things like study, email and blogging. I’ve also been using it for looking up any random thing that pops into my head, for twitter and facebook (I do use my smartphone for these, but it’s slower and the wireless reception in parts of the house isn’t as good as with my laptop), for catch-up tv, for hooking up to my printer, for downloading lectures, for organising my iPod (including putting lectures on) and for countless other things throughout my day.

I still have access to computers. Right now, I am borrowing my Dad’s laptop, but that’s not something I can hog for long periods. I have used the desktop for printing, but it is painfully slow (it took three minutes after I clicked the shortcut for my browser to appear this morning) and is in the main living area. I have my smartphone, but that has obvious limitations, apart from many of the apps being buggy. So, my challenge this weekend is to get by without my laptop.

Essentially, I intend to try to get by without computers as much as possible. I will need to use them a bit for study and a few other essential chores, but I will try to keep my less essential tasks to a minimum.

I’m adding organisational bursts this weekend.

Earlier this week, I was reading a Life Hacker Aus article about how to deal with a dirty house. The technique was not to tackle everything at once, but to do 15 minutes of cleaning each day and then stop, even if things were unfinished. The idea is to overcome the fatigue of doing a huge clean, which usually puts us off doing have another big effort for a while and allows the mess to pile up again. It occurred to me that this approach would actually work for many things, and that I’d most like to apply it to organisation.

I seem to be one of those people who naturally tackles things by putting in a huge effort and getting things done in one hit. Although I’ve improved at this, I’ve always found it hard to do little bits of an assignment over a long period and have tended to get it all done in a few days. I think my brain likes to have the big picture rather than work on little bits separately. The problem is that I have this approach to many things in life and general organisation is one of them. It always seems that “being organised” takes such a long time. There’s filing, responding to mail, dealing with bills, sending birthday cards and a million other small chores that just seem to pile up. If I try to get everything done, it just takes so much time!

So I am going to try to get only 15 minutes done. 15 minutes of anything. It could be consolidating all my friends’ addresses in place, sorting out my clothes, filing or any number of things. Hopefully, doing just a little bit each day will help me to keep on top of things and to even clear up a lot of things that have been getting in the way. And it will be one little thing each day that I can feel I’ve achieved.

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About Zaiene

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life I am inspired by so many different ideals of how to live a happy, fulfilled and productive life but struggle to get around to it. Large scale changes are intimidating and difficult to sustain, so this is my bite-sized life experiment. Each week*, I will find one thing in my life to drop and one thing to add. I will try to drop things that have a negative, unhealthy or over-absorbing effect on my life. I will try to add things that will have a positive, healthy, empowering or useful effect on my life. The experiment is to see whether I can cope with these changes and whether they really do improve my life. *(I began it as each weekend, as a less intimidating challenge. After about ten months, I felt that I wanted whole-week - well, Monday-to-Friday - challenges.)
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