Analog Saturdays: What’s Next in Sanity

I have often joked that I am surgically attached to my laptop.  I love my laptop.  I sometimes sleep with it on the nightstand next to me.  All my precious work is in my laptop.  All my little internets are in the laptop.  When I go to bed, I tuck them in.  I know they won’t actually go to sleep, but I sure hope they’ll let me catch up on what I missed in the morning.

Second to my laptop is my iPhone, which I dock into my iHome alarm clock each night so that it can wake me up to my favorite music in the morning.  I love my iPhone.  It gets me everywhere.  It tells me everything.  It is the all-knowing, all-glowing wonder productivity tool.

I literally have one or the other of these things in front of me for the majority of each day.  Including weekends.  Excluding workouts and bike rides.

And though I love these tools dearly… it’s killing me.

It makes me crazy.  I check email when I should be doing laundry, or cleaning up my room, or playing with my cats, or paying attention to my cute boyfriend.  I work on print layouts when I should be relaxing and enjoying this weird thing called life where there are all these people and you actually interact with them.  I read articles and do research when I could be making pictures.

I mean… productivity and efficiency are admirable – but enough is enough!

It has come to a head.

I have been thinking about this since the beginning of December when I decided to figure out what Ireally needed to work on in my life.  I mean what really would make a significant improvement in my quality of life.  Last year was all about what I could be doing better, what more I could learn, how much work I could possibly produce.

This year, I’m factoring in some time for rose-smelling.

I’m a driven producer and a relentless work-a-holic.   Physical activity has kept me sane so far, but the way I structure my life is going to catch up to me at some point. 

Besides that, being professionally "on" 24/7 doesn’t make me feel more in control – just the opposite.  There’s always something more to do – one more task to tick off a list – being constantly aware of that (as a result of constantly trying to get to the bottom of the list and never succeeding) is nothing but an exercise in frustration.

Does it seem a little extreme to ban the computer for an entire day?  Would it maybe work just as well to set aside a few hours per day… or to not use the computer when I get home from work on weekdays?

Maybe.

But I’ve had my ears wide open for the past couple years and I’ve learned a few things about myself.  Namely – the bigger the challenge or the more extreme the proposal, the more likely I am to succeed.  This may seem to fly in direct contradiction to the "small, attainable goals" theory, but it’s just what works for me.

In addition, "Analog Time" (as I’m calling it) is much more refreshing to me in large chunks.  An entire day of non-computerized interaction is going to be way more meaningful than a handful of weeknights.

A whole day each week where I don’t even look at my computer?  Where I stash the phone somewhere and leave it?  A day untethered and free and out of range?

Just call me The Girl Who Spelled Freedom.

So, here we go – Analog Saturday is officially in effect.  No computer, no iPhone, no television.  Instead, the focus will be on art, family, friends, photography (ok, ok, I’m going to allow myself to shoot my digital camera, but no processing!), activities, rest, reading and (gasp) journaling.

I feel sort of like Apollo 13 heading into the dark side of the moon, but I’m sure that will pass.  :)

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4 comments

  1. You know, I really really think you’re onto something there. Teh interwebs for me is like TV for some people – lots and lots of time wasted while I should be getting other stuff done!

  2. I like this idea. I feel chained to my computer/the internet too, and am constantly trying to break free of it, especially now that I’m back at work FT and staring at the computer there all day!

  3. i’m in a forced “analog time”. My poor lappy died on monday and it won’t be fixed for a few weeks. It’s been really really odd, but now I have an excuse to ride my trainer i guess :p

  4. Good for you! I unplug somewhat regularly, but usually accidentally, and definitely not as consistently as a full day every week. It’s a great idea.

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