The first thing I mentioned last week was my plan to black out all social media and to severely curtail my abusive email checking. For a week now, I’ve taken a serious crack at both of these things. My efforts have been partially successful.
The Facebook Situation
This part worked. I signed off for the last time in the middle of last week, and I’ve only been back on once since then—to temporarily deactivate my account. From now on, I’ll only be using Facebook for email purposes. It’s an very effective way to find people if you have no contact information for them—but for me, that’s going to be the extent of my usage.
I don’t miss it, I haven’t needed it, and I’ve recaptured a shitload of lost time by not using it. Deactivation is kind of a symbolic measure, because logging back on is all it takes to reactivate a dormant account, but I’m making a statement—to myself—that I’m no longer going to waste my time getting annoyed by stupid memes, shitty grammar, and dumb announcements from people I used to know in the nightclub business.
Very rewarding, and very productive.
The Gmail Situation
I really suck at this. I’ve definitely cut down a bit on checking my email, but I’m still prone to using my Gmail tab as a default click whenever I take a break from anything. What’s worse, that “inner clock” I wrote about last week is still going off—the one that compels me to move away from whatever I’m doing to check my email because I think something must have come in since the last time I looked.
It keeps happening, and it’s annoying. I can’t use site blockers because I need to use email fairly often for work purposes, but I also need to get things on some kind of hourly schedule. The plan is to keep working on this until I get it right.
The Calendar Situation
This was a very simple fix. Every night before I go to sleep, I fill out my calendar for the entire next day. When I wake up in the morning, I just stick to the schedule I’ve laid out.
This plays to one of my strengths. I can be a lazy, obnoxious piece of shit, and I’ve been known to procrastinate like a motherfucker, but I’ve never been late for anything in my entire life. I’ve operated on a fifteen-minutes-early timeframe since I was a kid. This isn’t something I was taught by anyone, either. I’ve just reasoned out over the years that lateness is the ultimate sign of disrespect for other people, and I refuse to engage in it.
Using a calendar instead of a conventional to-do list has helped me see tasks in terms of time, as opposed to a nebulous list of shit that “eventually” needs to get done. This is about starting things more than it is about finishing them. If you tell me something’s due tomorrow morning, I’ll get it done, but I might wait until four in the morning to start working on it. Tell me I have to start the job today at 7 AM, however, and I’ll be there at 6:45, drinking a cup of coffee and getting ready to go. That’s just how I’ve always been, and the calendar method works well for me.
The Idea Situation
Last week, I came up with an idea that I want to try. It’s a writing project about something I’ve been experiencing lately, and I think it would interest a lot of people. I’d also like to start writing again—about an actual topic, and not just about myself and my attempts to get my shit together.
I know I said I was going to implement this idea this week, but here’s the thing: It’s an idea that’s grown on me, and I don’t want to waste it by just vomiting the thing out on the page. I want to make sure I put some thought into doing it right and making it good—and I also need to talk to a few involved people to make sure it’s cool with them for me to write about this. When everything’s settled in that regard, I’ll get moving on it.