Some habits are straightforward: quit smoking, drink eight glasses of water a day, get up earlier, exercise four times a week, etc. Others, like “tame my time on the internet” have a lot of gray areas.
This week I’ve been trying to figure out how to deal with the gray. I realized I set no boundaries for texting, and then my husband was out of town most of the week, and texting is our easiest way to keep in touch. I had plans to have a friend over Monday night and we were making our plans via email, so I needed to check my email more often than my “rules” allowed to figure out our plans. I found myself leaving so many emails, Facebook messages and Twitter time to the evening that I had little time to work on writing this series.
I don’t spend a ton of time texting, so I’m not going to worry about that right now. I do use my iPod when I text, so I feel like I’m cheating. I’ll have to just get over that. I also found with email, I was checking my email in the morning and at lunch, but not really reading many until the evening. I was trying to spend as little time as I could on email and then was overwhelmed with too many later. Speed email wasn’t really my goal, my “rule” was to not check it 100 times a day. I realized I was avoiding email too much, and I’m now taking the time to read emails when the rules allow. (I also need to make time to unsubscribe to some newsletters and “deal” emails that clutter my inbox. A possible bonus result of this habit change.)
I also “cheated” one day and spent some time on Facebook during the afternoon so I’d have more time in my evening. My kids were occupied with their own stuff and didn’t need me, so it seemed like a good trade off. I hope that by doing better with my email, I won’t feel like my evenings get consumed with internet time. I obviously don’t want to quit the internet, I just want to be intentional with my time. I can still change my bad habit of spending too much time online if my rules get broken a few times. I just don’t want it to become the norm.
How about you? Has your habit change been cut and dry? Or are you wading through some gray matter, too?