Have you noticed yourself going flipping rapidly between doing projects, perusing your choice of social media, reading blogs, and halfheartedly paying attention to your family all the while feeling like you’re getting nothing done and your brain is melting?
That has been me recently.
When I was younger I could sit and read a book without having another thought for hours on end. These days I’m lucky to go 10 minutes before the next thing is going through my mind. I check my blogrolls obsessively. I have my blog stats almost memorized. Facebook, Pinterest, Intellicast, Goodreads, Delicious, and Gmail are all at my fingertips with almost no effort. When I have a screen nearby or the thought of it in my head my ability to focus is gone forever.
That is a problem.
I have so many things I would like to do, but somehow my days are wasted in the non-productive.
INTRODUCING: 31 Days to Focus and Refresh: Home, Heart, Habits.
This beginnings of this idea is came about because of months (or has it been years?) of my own conviction, an article on focus, a chapter on giving up media in Jen Hatmaker’s book: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, the appearance of a 31 days series I wanted to participate in, a brainstorm chat with my mom, Mary at Owlhaven, and sister, Amanda at Being a Homegirl, and time to combine all these things into one big project of focusing and refreshing life.
And so it was born.
The idea behind the 31 days series of this challenge is to write a blog post everyday for the month of october. You choose a topic and write on that particular topic everyday. It’s an exercise in writing, habit, and learning as you make your way through the outer limits of your topic. You can join the 31 days community on October 1st at The Nester where hundreds of people will be sharing their 31 days of work.
The Focus Portion:
As the first paragraph displayed:
I have been in very bad need of focus.
And I have been especially in need of some strict limitations for my time online.
I’ve tried to just tell myself I’m going to look at screens less. But that decision only holds me through a couple days where I manage to only waste 2-3 hours (horrendously enough, that is an improvement, if I’m being completely honest with myself) instead of the normal “I don’t even want to know/insert some horrifically large, but less than 24, number here” hours each day.
It’s bad. It’s really bad.
And now is the time to fix it. Before my child only connects screens with parents being distracted and him being ignored. Before my eyes fall out of my head. Before my virtual life is the only one pinteresting enough to live in. Before my house falls into wreckage. Before my ability to focus and remember is gone forever. And before the internet becomes self-aware and takes over the world.
Okok. Maybe the last one isn’t really possible….but all the others are definitely on their way to becoming a reality.
So here I am to begin my alternate reality in real life.
For the entire, 31 days long, month of October. I will be limiting my internet/screen time to 31 minutes a day. Yes. 31 days. 31 minutes. Wait for it…..
Yep. That’s 16 hours of internet for the month. That seems like a lot until I think about how many hours a month I have been spending up til this point. It has been out of control. This way I can put my hours toward something else and become a genius in something that actually matters.
It will be hard. But it will be so worth it in the end.
I’m hoping I’ll come out of it with enough good habits and gumption in place that I can keep up that starvation diet of internetlessness for a good long while…maybe allowing myself an hour day. tops. We shall see.
So. next month I will be spending my time more wisely, accomplishing more, reading books with pages, writing on paper, playing with my child with focus, reading my Bible, praying, journaling, hanging out with friends in real life, cooking from cookbooks instead of pinterest, checking the weather by stepping outside and a plethora of other things that came naturally to me before 2008 which marked the arrival of my own laptop and the beginning of my internet addiction. I can hardly bring myself to call it an addiction…but I suspect that’s what it may be.
I’m gonna kick this garbage disposal in the teeth and get my own time back.
But what to do with all that extra time?
There it is.
This part is the fun part.
In addition to this low in internet diet I will be incorporating some other activities of usefulness and focused activity into my day. Each day I will spend 31 minutes in some refreshing activity I may not do normally. Hopefully all in one chunk of time (as the babe allows) just to prove I can sit through one activity for that long, but if not then in spurts and spells until 31 minutes is up.
In reality I will probably being doing many many things that I would not have done otherwise, but this way I will do at least one.
But each day you will see me crocheting, making music, writing on paper, cleaning corners, crafting up some decorations, baby proofing the house, working on my language learning, planning for November writing crazy possibilities, reworking the wardrobe or hair, learning some makeup tricks, going for a bike ride, and other crazy random thing I may choose to incorporate into my days of time.
Also joining me in this section of the 31 days are my mom and sister. They may or may not limit their internet or blog everyday, but these 31 minutes and moments of focus on one activity each day are something we have decided upon together and are hoping to share with (and hopefully be joined by) you all here on our blogs. They will be blogging intermittently about all they are doing and learning.
(This is the fun part for you all)
We will be hosting a Linky for everyone here on my blog on the “Focus” page that is under construction right now.
We would absolutely love for you to join us here. We will be posting all of our posts from this October Challenge in that linky and you are welcome to do the same. That way can all keep track, share comment love, be inspired and refreshed in the month to come.
Feel free to join us in our quest for 31 minutes of focus each day and/or my quest in giving up at least most of my social media habits, as you feel so inclined.
Or, if you feel so inspired you can join me at the Nester for 31 days of writing on one topic.
And you can consider yourselves warned about my upcoming party of 31 days of focus, 31 days of blog posts, 31 minutes of refreshing activity and limited 31 minutes of internet.