Not exactly a zen experience…

My life is now full of simplicity and bliss. Now that I have disconnected from the computer, I am filled with a sense of calmness, wellbeing and productivity.

Yeah, we’ve all heard that one before, right?

I missed my computer!! Dropping the internet is not the wonderfullest thing I have ever done – and I have not even cut it out of my life completely! Although I knew that I’ve been turning too often to my laptop or my smartphone to fill in time or distract me, I hadn’t anticipated how much I was relying on it.

I’ve actually found it extremely challenging not to constantly distract myself with the internet. I was out for many days during the week and I still found it challenging. Every time there’s a moment when I’m not sure what to do with myself, I check my email on my phone. If I’m at home, I have the urge to quickly go online to check a fact, to check facebook, to play a quick card game or some similar distraction. Even when I allowed myself to use the internet to catch-up on TV programs I would have watched on TV anyway, it was challenging not to open another little window but to merely sit there, knowing that the internet was only a mouse-click away! My mind has naturally turned to the internet to engage my mind – and, frankly, to ignore the real world while feeling as if I’m actually doing something.

I think that is part of it. My brain is always filling up with thoughts and plans and worries and reflections. It is often a relief for me to take the easy option of distraction. The problem is that I don’t make the most of my time this way.

It has been a big struggle, but it hasn’t been without some rewards. It has forced me to stop and think about other things I could be doing, whether they are productive things or simply alternative forms of relaxation. I had a free day on the Thursday and, knowing that the laptop was off-limits, I felt as if I had more time. I never seem to have enough time! I washed my bedding and for once I didn’t feel that I had to rush to fit it in around my other activities. I do not love housework, but it was actually pleasanter to feel that I could do it in a leisurely fashion rather than with a deadline. Knowing that there was no internet to fill the time, the free hours stretched ahead of me and I no longer felt as pressured. So far since then, I’ve been happy to keep myself much more disconnected from the internet and the computer.

I also found that dropping the internet helped with adding getting things done at the start of the day (except for when those things required the internet…). Without the internet as an option, I had to really think about what to do with my morning. Without the internet as a distraction, I didn’t find myself wasting time instead of getting ready to go out or getting things done before most of the day had passed. I wasn’t perfect, I still put off some activities, but I found myself looking for other productive tasks or chores to replace what I had avoided, rather than turning to an easy distraction. It was also lovely to be able to relax a little in the afternoon and know that I had not wasted the day and had earned a rest.

I think I like the idea of being more purposeful in my activities, even if that purpose is relaxation. I have felt at times that I have merely wandered aimlessly through hours of internet or even television, keeping my mind busy but with no real purpose. I like the idea of deciding what to do with my next half hour or hour and focusing just on that. I like the idea of going onto the computer with a purpose and turning it off when I am finished. I like the idea of taking time to do something because I am not multitasking or distracting myself with other things.

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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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One Response to Not exactly a zen experience…

  1. Pingback: Week 32: Drop Distractions/Add Morning Logs | Drop One, Add One

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