Let me begin by admitting that I’m a little weird about trying to save time. When I was a kid, I would literally plot out the most efficient route between the milk, the cereal, and the spoons to avoid taking an extra three steps.
Now, I sometimes wonder if I waste more time each day than little six-year-old me could ever have imagined.
I’m currently on a research trip to study the writing process of my favorite author, Barbara Mertz a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters. The trip has already taught me SO MUCH about how a master approaches a new book, but honestly, what sticks with me most is how much this woman accomplished.
I theoretically knew that masterpieces don’t just flow from an author’s fingers, but spending days sorting through boxes of research, outlines, character sketches, chronologies, and revisions really puts into perspective just how much work went into each of her 70+ books.
Honest to God, I found myself thinking. Even if I had half the brainpower she did, when would I have time to do all this?
But pesky logic reminds me that we all have 24 hours in the day and — full-time job by day and grad school by night notwithstanding — my schedule is on the lighter side since I don’t have kids. My weekends, to start, are usually 90% relax time.
Here’s the thing: I’ve somehow convinced myself that relax time is actually “recharge” time. I need to relax and watch TV on weekends! My life is hard! (Cue the tiny violinists). And Pinterest is helpful since it motivates me to work out (even if I spend as much time “motivating” myself as I do actually working out).
I’d like to find out whether there is any truth to this idea of screen-based “recharge time,” or if I’m just duping myself. I’ll go one month without an assortment of time-wasting devices to get to the truth of the matter.
Obviously, I won’t be going ENTIRELY tech-free, as the title of this post implies. I’ll still use the refrigerator and the phone, since the purpose of this exercise is to avoid wasting time, and I don’t see food or family as time-wasters.
Here’s what I will give up:
- TV — (I’m debating making an exception for when I work out — but I actually have to be working out, not doing a few sit ups with ten minute, laying-on-the-ground breaks between each one)
- Social media
- Mindless surfing (so I can check my email, but nothing but Gmail graces my browser)
As I see it, there are three possible outcomes. I will either find out that:
- Yes, I need the recharge time. I was on the verge of spontaneously combusting by the end of the month. GIVE ME TWITTER OR GIVE ME DEATH!
- Life is peachy without all the crap we waste time on, but I didn’t really accomplish anything of value in those hours. My brain was kind of shot by that point, so I basically just switched Googling for books. A good trade, but not going to make me Elizabeth Peters 2.0.
- THE RECHARGE TIME WAS ACTUALLY DRAINING!!! My brain is clicking like never before and I am so excited to make use of the extra time. I accomplished more in one month than I have in the past six.
I know the idea of a blogger going tech-free seems counterintuitive, but let’s be honest. I don’t even know what the future of this blog is, now that I love my job and am no longer desperate for a creative outlet. I do still enjoy writing posts now and then, but it will receive a major overhaul at some point anyway. For now, let’s just say it’ll be silent for another month until I come back with the results of my grand experiment.
Email me if you need anything, since I can still check Gmail!