Computer Time (the post-it note in my sidebar)

by SomeGirl on July 5, 2010 · 27 comments

Not too long ago I realized I was spending more time on the computer than I’d like (around the time I wrote Just a Minute Honey). I made a commitment to myself and posted it here. I’ve had a couple of friends ask me about my “Note to Self” in the sidebar concerning my computer usage, so I thought I’d take today to answer their questions.

Like most of you I get my day started with a nice cup of something to drink loaded with caffeine to wake up my body and my mind (although my cup is filled with Coke). I like to mosey into the kitchen around 8:00, get my trusty cup loaded with my brown-liquid-energy and sit down at the computer to find out what’s happened in the world around me. My husband and boys like to eat cereal, so, they take care of each other, filling their bowls with whatever they choose (I usually wait a bit to eat something). Then they’re all off… my husband to work and my boys to play. I stay behind spending a little time writing here at SomeGirl’sWebsite.

After a few months of blogging I realized I could spend as much time as I had blogging… and even if I stopped blogging, the open computer in the kitchen beckoned me to “just check FB” or “just look to see if anyone commented” or “just see what’s happening on Twitter” (which inevitable ended with wasted time hopping from one site to the other waiting for something to happen). In the meantime, my life was “happening” and I felt like I was missing it.

So, I decided to make a change. I set a time to put the computer to sleep, closing it up until the next “open” time. 10:00 made sense to me. That’s about the time my body really starts working. I decided to let the computer come back to life at 4:00 so I could peek in and see what was going on before it was time to start dinner.

My husband gets off work around  5:00. It was easy for me to let him come down and play with the boys while I “clocked out” of my role as mom and went to veg by surfing the internet, but I realized I was missing valuable time with him and the boys together. So I decided to put the computer back to sleep until after the boys go to bed (8:00pm).

I don’t always hop on the computer right at my allowed times. And sometimes I “massage the numbers”… if I’m on 30 minutes later than scheduled I get on 30 minutes later. If I know I’m going to be gone all day and  night with family and friends I allow a little more time in the morning… you get the picture. :)

One of my friends asked me if I check e-mail during my “off” times. I have found a little way to “cheat the system” (which is just my own self imposed system)… my little plain ol’ phone lets me get a very basic form of e-mail. I check it every once in a while but don’t reply. My husband gave me his old iPhone the weekend before last and I had it for 1 week… I checked everything all day long, nearly every minute… I COULDN’T STAND IT!!! I wasn’t strong enough for an iPhone, so I’m back to my plain ol’ phone (and it feels SO GOOD!!).

So, there’s how I came up with my computer usage time. I’m comfortable with my schedule at the moment, although I’ve thought about changing it a bit. If I do, I’ll post the new times in the sidebar. If you wonder why I post it at all, the answer is two-fold: 1. I  need to  be reminded when I am here that I made a commitment to myself for my family and 2. just the fact that I’ve shared my commitment with you makes me all the more accountable to it.

Btw, I read that other moms were only blogging during naptime and thought, “That’s a good idea; why don’t I do that?” And then I remembered: my boys don’t take naps. So, I had to come up with an alternative that worked for me. And my time with my husband is equally as important as my time with my children so, I don’t want all of my blogging/computer usage to be after my children are asleep… that’s my FAVORITE time with my sweet husband!

And to make this post fit with the theme of this blog, I guess you could say my computer usage restriction is a form of fraddle for my children, husband and family. :)

Hope that encourages you in some way. Thanks for asking the question! I’m happy to share what goes on in my head and heart with you!

Love,

♥ Michelle (aka SomeGirl)

If you want your very own post-it note, you can make one here. :)

{ 27 comments }

Natalie

Thanks, Michelle! I know I need to do this (as I type this comment from my iPhone!). I am not strong enough for this thing either!!!

I’ll have to figure out the times that will work best over here. I also work from home about an hour or two a day so that will have to be factored in.

I’ll keep you posted!

SomeGirl

I’d love to hear what you figure out! I’ll stop and pray for you right now. ♥ Michelle

Cranberry Morning

I totally agree. For me, checking early in the morning and again late evening is best. It’s hard to stick with that, though, and on days like this, ‘the day after a holiday during which I ate too much candy and popcorn and feel nauseated and achey,’ I’m allowing myself more time on the computer cuz I have no energy to do much else – and it’s too wet to mow lawn or pull weeds.

Can you tell I’m feeling cranky today? You’d think I’d learn!

SomeGirl

Oh, I hear you about days like today! I gave the boys a “checklist free” day and let them watch TV until we went to a movie. It’s hard to do much after holidays. Hope you’re feeling rested and less cranky now. :)
♥ Michelle

Saidah @ A Proverbs Wife

I don’t know what it is about being online that’s so tempting. I can spend hours online without batting an eye, but I do opt to discipline myself. I don’t know if the desire to be online so much is healthy (mentally or physically). Plus, if I limited my children’s game and t.v. time I think it’s only right that I limit my computer time. Though it is HARD sometimes to find that discipline.

SomeGirl

Seriously! Why is it so tempting? Good point about limiting our time since we limit our children’s time. :)

Saidah @ A Proverbs Wife

I guess it’s because great people like yourself and Michelle make being online fun. Online friends have become jut as important to my life as offline friends. Only difference is that my online friends seem to be more accessible socially at time than my offline friends.

It’s neat though to reevaluate our online time to continue to to make the necessary changes to keep it in it’s proper perspective.

SomeGirl

Awww… you’re so sweet! Online friends are GREAT!

Sherry

So easy to get caught up in blogging, Facebook, etc. Thank you for posting this and reminding me! :D

SomeGirl

It is SO easy, isn’t it?! Thanks again for your post Saturday! ♥ Michelle

lara

As a wise professor of mine used to say, “Either you make your schedule or it will make you.” Thanks for sharing. :)

SomeGirl

Nice quote!

Cranberry Morning

Thanks, Michelle. I dragged around half the day, then got out and worked in the garden and mowed lawn. It’s amazing what exercise will do! I’m much happier and feel better now. :-)

I like your ‘checklist free’ day. You’re right: It’s hard, once we’re out of the routine, to just jump right back into it!
Judy

SomeGirl

I’m SO glad to hear it! It is amazing what exercise will do! Here’s to a good day of rejoining routine tomorrow! ♥ Michelle

Sturgmom

I could waste my entire day surfing the internet! I think it’s great that you have created boundaries for yourself. I could stand to do the same. :)

SomeGirl

I know, right?! (the entire day) Time flies when you’re having fun surfing! :)

I’m glad you joined in the discussion! ♥ Michelle

Jessica

I’m a naptime blogger and since my hubby works 2nd shift and isn’t home until after 11pm I occasionally blog then too.

But since being pregnant I’ve been on the computer less and less and whereas months ago I would have worried about my numbers and not networking enough, but now I don’t even think about it…or at least not as much. : )

I guess I’m feeling more of a freedom to not blog, but I definitely have those times where I open up the computer to just do “one thing” and 30 minutes later I still haven’t done it. Twitter, my Google Reader, FB all become distractions.

SomeGirl

I hope your pregnancy is going well! What a great thing to have take your attention away from blogging (and obsessing – the blogger’s norm)! ;)

Hey, I see you posted something new today… I’m going to check it out now. ♥ Michelle

Deb Chitwood

Michelle, I think your ideas for limiting computer time and massaging the numbers when needed are great! I’m lucky that I just don’t like going online with a cell phone of any type (at least I haven’t had the urge yet!). But I do have a very odd schedule. Fortunately, it seems to work with my life. But it does sometimes feel a bit surreal to be following a schedule so out of sync with the real world!

SomeGirl

Boy, it’s great you haven’t had the urge to connect online with a cell phone! Now I’m curious about your “out of sync” schedule… :)

Deb Chitwood

My schedule is definitely odd. My husband usually works until midnight. We typically talk to our son in San Diego at midnight (11:00 pm our son’s time). Then I spend time with my husband until about 2:00 a.m. After that, I do some more blogging before talking with my daughter in England often at 3:00 a.m. (10:00 a.m. in England)! It’s very unusual for me to get to bed before 3:00! Fortunately, I can get up late or take a nap in the afternoon. My schedule automatically restricts my Twitter hours because I’m awake when most Tweeters are asleep and vice versa!

SomeGirl

Wow, those are late hours, but It’s GREAT that you and your husband’s schedules work out so well for talking with your children!

And now I know who to tweet with when I’m up late. ;)

Natalie

Thanks, Michelle! If you’re interested, I posted what I came up with today. Lots of thanks to your willingness to share :)

SomeGirl

Very interested… I’m on my way right now!! ♥ Michelle

Leah Hoffmaster

You’re a step ahead of me with the blogging schedule, as far as putting it into effect goes! I’ve tentatively decided to make my off time from 7 am till 7pm, with kids naps being one on one time for my 10 yr. old son and just reading, etc. (Though I will squeeze in a quick on-line check up!) However, I’m still working on getting up early enough to make that happen. It’s 8:30 right now. LOL Your husband seems to be quite understanding of your blogging time which I’m sure makes it nice for you. Mine isn’t quite so much..unless it isn’t sacrificing my time with the kids in anyway. I completely understand his logic, so I try to adhere to his wishes the best I can. The downside is that I don’t have a whole lot of time to stop around other sites as much as I’d like and leave comments like this one! And wow..I’m happy to have 1 or 2 comments on any particular post I write. How does one get so many?! Maybe I should write a guest post for you sometime..hehe. Ok, my kiddos are beckoning. Talk again soon :)

SomeGirl

Girl, I’d LOVE to have you guest blog here! :) Btw, hope you don’t mind me saying, but I just went to comment on your most recent post and couldn’t find the comment button at first… could be stopping some people from responding to your great posts.

Now, if only I could get up by 7, let alone be done on the computer by 7, that would be amazing! ;) Even 8:30 rocks! :)

I am glad my husband supports my blogging… he’s very entrepreneurial and gets excited about new ventures (even ventures that are becoming more ministry than business). ;) I am with you on the downside… limiting my time has really put a kink in my blog hopping! But we do the best we can, right? :)

Anyway, thank you SO much for joining this discussion!! I’ve really enjoyed hearing your input!

I’ll call on you next time I need a guest blogger (if you don’t mind, of course). :)

♥ Michelle

SomeGirl

Phew! That was one long comment response! lol Sorry about that! ;)

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