A New-Year’s Resolution For 2009

“Hi folks, my name is Josh…”

…and after careful consideration (and with a little guidance from some important people in my life 🙂 ), I’ve come to the conclusion that  I spend all together too much time on my computer.

I would estimate that (outside of work) I spend 2 hours per night reading blogs, doing research on personal projects, or just zoning out.  On weekends it’s probably even worse, with somewhere around 5+ hours per day spent doing the same thing.  What’s even worse is that I’ve found that most of my time is spent doing rather mindless browsing, without any clear purpose.

Well, all that is going to change, starting now.

The New Rules Of The Game

  1. No computer after dinner, except on Mondays and Tuesdays when I write posts for this blog.
  2. No more than 3 hours per weekend day on the computer.

Now obviously this does not include work or any after-hours emergencies; I don’t think “I’m trying to cut down on my computer usage” would be a very valid excuse for neglecting my job duties.

I’m hoping that in addition to the obvious benefit of more time with *gasp* real people, this change in policy will help in other ways.

With Limits Must Come Efficiency

Because I am limiting myself to a set amount of time, I have two choices on how to proceed: 1) Continue browsing mindlessly and fail miserably at getting the important tasks done; or 2) Cut out all the crap and only do the specific, necessary work. Which one do you think I’m going to choose?

As a side effect, this will force me to more closely define my personal projects and initiatives. Certainly at work, I’m relatively disciplined in terms of scoping out projects and planning the necessary work before beginning. At home though, I tend to be more spontaneous and unplanned. Not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly it does not lend itself to efficiency.

Do you set limits on time spent with technology? How do you make sure that what time you have staring at a screen is used most efficiently, both at work and outside?

3 Comments

  1. That’s a god goal and initiative to take! Do you plan to actually time yourself, or will you take an hour on, an hour off,etc? I’m curious to see how you achieve this.

    Would you think it would work if you worked a reward system for yourself? You get all your tasks dine first, and then are able to reward yourself with computer time? Just want to know your thoughts. Thanks for the comment on FFOP!

    Reply

    1. @Kris – good questions!

      I plan on roughly timing myself, but also on enforcing a rule that before I sit down at the keyboard, I have to have a goal in mind. That could be anything from reading my GTD blogs to researching a new purchase, etc. That way I can hopefully avoid some of the mindless time-wasting behavior I’ve gotten into.

      I like you’re idea about rewards! Having a background in psychology I know all about the power of positive reinforcement. Call it dangling a carrot if you will, but if it works, it works. Perhaps I’ll give that a shot as well, especially on the weekends.

      Reply

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