Oh Internetz, how I love you. So much inspirational material available, countless hilarious Internet memes and all these awesome people only a click away. I love it. The Internet is in my top 5 Abstract Concepts I Would Marry List*. But let’s face it: Too much Badluck Brians and brainless Youtube videos isn’t good for a person.
We spend shitloads of time on stupid websites while we could be doing other stuff. We all know checking your e-mail every 5 minutes is neither effective nor productive. We basically overstimulate our brain with a load of crap (which makes our brain less useful later in the day) as well as procrastinate on more important things as well as miss out on a lot of other way more fun, creative and awesome things we could be doing in our free time.
And I’m the worst addict when it comes to the Interwebz, so I really have to make it easy for myself to not be on the Internet. Here are some easy ways to start taking down your Web-Time and start having some more Real Life Time (I’ve heard it’s really fun, you guys).
Turn off your computer when you’re not using it.
My poor MacBook is alway
s on. I am surprised it hadn’t become a fire hazard yet. I’d like to keep it that way, so now I (try to) turn it off when I have no legitimate reason to use it. And watching a Jenna Marbles marathon
is not a legimitate reason. At least not twice in the same week.
Write down what you want/need to do on-line before you do it. When I know I only need to check my e-mail, find the route to this new restaurant and cry over my bank account balance, I can be on- and off-line rather quickly. Even if I want to read through my bloglovin’ feed I can do most of that in an hour. When I have a list of things I want to do next to me, it’s easy just to cross it off and not to wander in the Labyrinth of WiFi I accidentally create for yourself. So make a list: What are you really on the Internet for? Some blogs? Some fashion inspiration? Finding a good recipe. Make a list, go on-line, do your business, go off-line. Like using the computer once was intended.
Limit your browsing time. Set an egg-timer for 30 minutes. You can go nuts on 9gag and Tumblr in those 30 minutes but after that it’s back into the real world with your cute little butt, okay? Plus, there’s only so many memes you can see before you stop laughing. Trust me.
Browser Nannies. I use Safari and there is no Safari Nanny yet, but Google Chrome & Firefox have Nannies: These are basically apps you can add to your browser who block or limit time on websites of choice (Facebook. Gmail, Twitter) and who lock the entire Internet for you after the hours you set to have per day. I’ve heard people made great strides in terms of less Internet with this, and I like the posh British sound of having an Internet Nanny.
Make it less visible. Remove Safari, Mail & Twitter from your dock. Remove the shortcuts from your desktop. This way you won’t be visually reminded (at least not after a while, for the first week you’ll probably hallucinate them there) and the more effort you have to put into starting up your browser, Tweetdeck and e-mail, the less likely you’ll do it in your moments of hurry and deadlines.
Declare Internet free hours or days. Shut off your wireless network or router if you have to. Have your house or workplace be Internet-free from 9 to 11 or from 1 to 3. This way you can not be distracted. You’ll be amazed how productive you can become in those hours; when I go to Internet-free coffee places I get the most work done, no joke. This is also addictive: you’ll soon be craving them!
Literally step away from the electronics. I have the worst habit: I check everything the moment I wake up. I often attach a few Tumblr-browse minutes to that morning-routine as well, which is also quite stupid considering I have more important things to do with my morning time (getting ready for various things). Which is why I now leave my iPad and MacBook in the living room when I go to bed, just taking my phone because it’s my alarm clock. For now it’s just delay, but at least it’s progress. I strive to not touch any electronics until after breakfast at one point.
Get Internet on your phone. This is not my own tip, but I’ve seen this in boyfriend & friends: Once you have a phone to look up minor things such as movie times, important e-mails and routes, you’ll be less likely to start up your computer and be lost there for hours. Slight risk is your face being constantly buried in your phone, but that’s something you have to find out for yourself.
Things that also help is getting a hobby that does not involve the computer, such as reading, dancing, running, cooking and -you guessed it- hooping, or meditation instead of clubbing your brain to death with LOLcatz. Speaking of…Maybe we should just all get ourselves some Internet Monitoring Cats. That might work too.
*Writing, Internet, Bikram Yoga, Teaching and Coffee. Yes, still.