It’s time to get real. I’m wasting too much time every day on pointless stuff online, and I’m not even enjoying it.
This is hardly some novel realization; I’ve been off most social media for over a year now. But I’m still finding ways to waste my life in an endless series of apps I’m “just checking” for some new hit.
Sometime this weekend, I just got fed up. It can’t be that hard to just… stop doing this. Can it?
I mean, I understand that it’s very easy to succumb to digital distraction. I understand that this software is designed to exploit deeply compulsive loops in our brains. But isn’t that a textbook mindfulness problem? This is what I’ve been training for all this time!
The basic task is clear: to slow down my decision-making and mindfully decide whether everything I do during “productive time” is the right thing to do. Rather than go up against diabolical tech empty-handed, though, I have a secret weapon. I’m calling it a “Day Log.”
I’m putting a notebook and pen on my desk right next to my computer, and when my mind reaches for a distraction, I will reach out and grab the notebook instead. I’ll make a log entry about what I was doing, what needs to be done, and how I’m feeling, and I’ll use this to figure out what to do next.
It’s not just about the stopping and thinking; the physical, analog object is part of the solution. It’ll be the anchor in the present and the physical body, like the breath during meditation. If writing longhand is to screwing around online as just breathing is to monkey mind, this should do the trick.