So I did something pretty drastic this weekend that I wanted to share with you.
For quite a while, I’ve been frustrated with how I’m scheduling and using my time. When you don’t have a 9 to 5 office job, your days can flow one to the next, weekdays into weekends without clear delineations between work and play. I both love and hate this. On the one hand, I love having a totally flexible schedule and am grateful for it everyday. But on the other hand, no matter what I’m doing, I always feel like I should be doing something else, like I’m wasting my time with this when I should be doing that. And the worst part is, because I already feel like I’m not doing enough, I never make time for a lot of things that are true passions because it feels frivolous and indulgent.
All this crystalized for me when I started journaling about it. I made a list of all the things that take up my time during a given week as well as the things I’d like to do but can never seem to find the time. I want to draw and paint more; I want to finally watch all the films in my ridiculously long Netflix queue; I want to re-read all the classics and all those books I’ve only read reviews of; And of course, there are all those house projects. Well, guess what? These are all offline activities.
I knew (even before this little exercise) that I was spending too much time online. The web has been the source of so many wonderful things in my life, including real friendships, but it can also cause so much anxiety. I want to keep up with everyone and everything and not miss out on the newest and the latest. Of course this is an impossible task and I’ve become better about letting go but I need to do better.
So what was the drastic thing I did? I went completely offline. And I plan on doing that on the weekends from now on. The one exception is Instagram. It’s my visual diary and I want to keep documenting my days which only takes a few minutes. But that is all. This will leave my weekends free to do all those other activities, and most importantly, without guilt. And by the same token, on weekdays, I won’t feel guilty if I fall down an internet rabbit hole every now and then.
Life is short and we need to make time for the things that we love doing instead of just complaining about not having time. So what about you? What’s your relationship with the internet like these days? Have any strategies for balancing life online and off? I’d love to hear.
(Cartoon by Dean Vietor/New Yorker)