Last weekend, I decided to shut my wifi off on Saturday evening and not turn it back on until Monday morning. I wanted to explore the passive behaviours I have when it comes to internet use and when they are triggered. What a great opportunity to completely dedicate myself to the things that my procrastination tendencies usually suck the life out of: the creative ones.
The day was long and silent as I could not play music, and so I spent all that time with my own thoughts, just imagine… I decided to start by writing some physical letters to dear ones in Sweden, moved on to preparing a treasure hunt, designing parts of a bullet journal for 2020 and finished the day by journaling.
I have done this before; tell myself that social media is off limits, and that is not a problem for me. I quite enjoy the silence of notifications. It is as if there is nothing happening online because I cannot see it. What a peaceful bliss, and no FOMO felt.
The big eye opener, which I had never counted on, was instead how extremely used to our need for instant gratification I have gotten. A question, related or unrelated to the current activity or conversation, pops up in our heads and we immediately unlock our phones for a quick answer:
- I need to find the address so I can send the letter tomorrow
- Where can I buy pastel markers?
- What does my cousin’s baby look like nowadays?
- How old is Ezra Miller?
- How much are tickets to Nepal in February?
- Oh, I forgot to see that trailer of “The Goldfinch”
You recognize this? Now, nothing above really NEEDED to be answered that day. So I simply moved on with my creative day, no time lost, all happy and still into it.
And this, my friends, is how I usually end up not getting things done. If I am lucky, I will look the answer up and then mindlessly scroll pages for another 20 minutes. If not so lucky, I will first answer that message that filled the screen and then mindlessly scroll pages for another 20 minutes and as I lock my phone again, realize I forgot to look that address up after all. And I unlock it again and there goes another 20 minutes. Either way, I can loose hours every day with this passive habit.
My point is:
- What is your procrastination go-to activity? (Mine: Scroll pages online)
- Eliminate the possibility to do it (Mine: disable wifi)
- Identify the cue as you cannot act on it because it is not available to you (Wanting an answer on Google…but having no internet to do so)
- How can you integrate this knowledge about yourself in your daily life? (For me: Challenging myself to only search for things that need answers immediately)
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