Get Unplugged – How to stop wasting time online
I’ve come up with a name for a condition that I’ve been suffering with for a while – Inter-faffing. That thing where keep finding myself wasting time online.
Like Packman hungrily chomping his way around his game screen, my inter-faffing swallows up the spare moments in my day and then starts gulping down the not-really-spare-at-all moments, until I suddenly find myself rushing around like a blue ass fly to get things done.
Inter-faffing Danger Zones:
- Creating your dream home… on Pinterest
- Fiddling with your widgets (fellow bloggers) – oo er Mrs
- Editing the perfect photo… for Instagram
- Did anyone respond to your last Facebook witticism (erm, no)
- Visiting your email inbox every time the new mail notification goes
To make matters worse, all the time I’m inter-faffing there is a schizophrenic conversation going on in my head. For example*:
- “If you get M’s supper done now you can get her into bed on time.”
- “Right, switching off, ooh hang on, just need to check emails”
- “Time is ticking, you’ll have to bin the idea of a nutritious supper for M if you don’t start now”
- “Ok, logging off. Oh wait, must just check that I’ve scheduled that post for the right time”
- “You really are cutting it fine now. She’s going to have to have beans on toast (again) at this rate”
- “That’s it, done. Oh, someone’s Tweeted me, it’d be rude not to respond straight away…”
- “Seriously, you have 15 minutes before her bedtime”
- “What? Oh, just give her some milk and a banana, she can eat more tomorrow”
*Clearly I am exaggerating for the sake of making my point… 🙂
Yet still I’m cheeky enough to bemoan the lack of time in the day to get stuff done, “where does the time go?” I’ll sigh to a friend over coffee, with a genuine air of puzzlement.
So, in an effort to claim back time lost to inter-faffing and the digital world I spend so much of my time in, I’m prescribing myself a large dose of digital detox…
Here are the four things I’m going to try out for a couple of weeks to see if they have an impact on me and my digital usage.
Four ways to get unplugged from digital:
1. Bedroom ban
Keep digital devices out of the bedroom! If they’re not in there you can’t reach for them before you go to sleep and you can’t reach for them the second you open your eyes in the morning.
The bonus is you get a MUCH better quality of sleep and it’s so much EASIER to get to sleep if you stop starting at screens at least an hour before you go to bed.
2. Switch off notifications
Switch off all activity notifications on your mobile and tablet. It totally removes the interruptions that lure you to pick up your phone when you should be working / hanging out with your kids / chatting with friends IRL.
3. Delete the Facebook App from my phone
Now this one is radical, but it’s a major game changer…. delete the Facebook App from your phone, it’s amazing how much less you faff around on FB when you have to login
4. Watercooler & Time Box Digital Moments
Set watercooler moments to check-in on social media, rather than constantly scrolling. Plus set up time box moments for checking emails. That way you have your digital nicely boxed in, unable to seep into other areas of your day…
My Unplugged Update
It works! These four little steps have totally changed – ok, mostly changed – my habits for the better. Inter-faffing is now something I do sometimes, rather than something that rules my life. So go on, try it…kiss goodbye to your inter-faffing…
If this post has resonated with you, you may also like my post on monotasking…. eh? What on earth is monotasking you ask! It’s the opposite of multi-tasking…