Last night I finished a project that had kept me welded to the computer for the better part of several days, and I awoke wondering if it would be possible to go through a day limiting my computer use to one hour.  The experiment started out well enough, though I had accomplished but the minimum of my normal morning computer routine when I realized I'd already used up a quarter of the time.  It was not too hard, however, to set the routine aside and turn to (mostly) non-computer-related projects.  I felt empowered, and looked forward to a day of accomplishment.  Occasionally I needed the computer briefly for something I was doing, but managed to do the job and get off, resisting the temptation to check blogs, news, or e-mail.

That lasted till maybe 9 a.m.

I had successfullly prepared, assembled, and packaged two boxes for mailing, but printing the postage for one turned out to be a bit of a problem and involved an online chat with USPS customer service.  Another half hour of computer time gone, just like that.  Then there was a problem with a recent Amazon order that could not be put off, and included another customer service exchange.  After that, the allotted hour was completely gone.

For some of the day I continued to try to minimize computer use, but then we worked on researching and purchasing a new camera (shhh—it's an early birthday present for me!) and that ate up hours of computer time—so I just plain gave up.  Which is why I'm able to write this post.  One thing I know for sure is that I can't limit myself to an hour of computer use a day and do any significant writing, let alone make any progress on many important projects.  But even an hour a day is so much time!  How different might I be if I spent that hour reading, or praying, or learning to play the piano!

One thing I know:  the important work I do, in this stage of my life, requires time on the computer.  A lot of time on the computer.  That's simply the nature of the work.  Some things are plain impossible without it; others possible, but much less efficient or effective.  I am in no danger of giving in to Luddite tendencies.

But the taste of freedom this morning was so sweet I'm continuing the experiment tomorrow.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Edit
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