Thursday, April 01, 2010

Internet Limits

Dude, the internet is such a time suck!

And as much as I want to say that I spend a reasonable amount of time on here (reasonable meaning that I wouldn't be embarrassed to actually type out numbers), I can't say that. I spend an unreasonable amount of time online. Whether it's sitting at my desk while the kids play outside, sitting at the desk while they watch tv, sitting at the desk while they nap/rest, sitting at the desk while they play in their rooms, sitting in my rocker with my iPod Touch nursing the Gator, sitting at my desk while they...... Yeah. You're getting the picture.

I would love to say that it's all time spent wisely. Encouraging other people, learning more about homeschooling, keeping in touch with friends, but again, I can't say that. Some of the time is just spent dawdling around news websites, looking at home decorating blogs, reading message forums, and looking at LOLcats. Nothing in that list is inherently bad, it's just not best, you know? Instead of spending my moments actively engaged with my kids, I am being a barely present parent mired in the depths of learning how to do things better/more creatively/more efficiently but never actually doing them.

I know. Deep thoughts with The Unsinkable.

Anyways, again, all this to say that I've been praying a lot about how to use the internet wisely. For me. My wise use of the internet won't look like yours, because my time wasters aren't yours. But I've been praying and praying, trying to get myself out of this cycle and trying not to throw the internet baby out with the bath water. There are lots of good things online, tons of them even. So how do I access them without getting towed under by the sheer quality of things out there?

Defined Limits.

Here's how my plan is shaking out:

I began globally. Well, not globally, but at the beginning. A very good place to start. I decided that I want to look at my day and see that I haven't spent much time online. I want to look at a pie chart of my day and see that I spend 95% of it engaged. So for me, that means I want to limit my time at the computer to an hour a day. If that seems a lot to you, then you are obviously not having this problem :).

So, with an hour a day, how do I want to break that down? I like getting online in the morning and checking the news and weather and email and such. But I also need time to blog, and that can take a good chunk of time, especially since I have a tendency to be long winded and the best time to do that is at nap time when the kids aren't interrupting my train of thought. And I really enjoy browsing blogs for good ideas and recipes, but that can just rabbit trail all over the place and it's best not to shoo away the kids because Mom is trolling Etsy for more aprons.

Which brings me to my Master (for now) Plan - I'm breaking my hour down into three chunks: AM, Nap time, & PM.

AM - 20 Minutes - Email, News, Facebook

Nap Time - 30 minutes - Blog/Uploading Pictures (which I can do at the same time)

PM - 10 Minutes - Google Reader, Browsing

I have intentionally given myself a small amount of time each night to read other blogs and to aimlessly browse. I don't want to waste my evening Dave Time on the internet and I don't want to allow myself to get too influenced by all that's out there. I'd rather look at a few things and maybe actually do them, than try to fruitlessly read the entire internet in one sitting. Oh, and obviously if I need to check the weather or get directions to some place than I'm going to hop on and do that whenever, I'm just not going to stay there and diddle around.

What do you think? How do you limit your internet time?


The Garrett's said...

Just this morning I was thinking it was sad because I used to love doing crafts with my free time & now I mostly read blogs about other people doing crafts! I have the same problem- I can get online just to "check one quick thing" which leads to another, etc. One thing I have done is put a timer on my google homepage & made myself stick to whatever time I had chosen. I think the evening limit is a really good idea too. I hope your schedule works out for you!

Daisha said...

Sounds like a good plan. I may have to follow your example. :)