This probably won't come as a shock to those who are close to me — or even those who barely know me — but the internet has become something of a time sink for me. It's true that I now view blogging as my vocation, and this, by its very nature, requires me to stay well-connected; but it's also true that I fritter away hours every day with what are essentially prolonged repetitive distractions.
- I check e-mail. Constantly.
- I monitor my site statistics. Constantly.
- I keep tabs on my RSS feeds.
- I check my favorite sites for updates.
- I google or wikipedia anything that occurs to me to google or wikipedia.
- I play mindless games.
The writers guild met last night. (Have I mentioned how much I've come to value these meetings?) I go to the pub early so that I can be frugal and purchase food at happy hour prices. This gives me an hour on my own. (Sometimes Paul shows up early, too, and we can chat.)
Last night I took my laptop. The pub has no internet connection. For one full blissful hour, I was working on my computer as I normally do but without a connection to the net. You would not believe how productive I was. I responded to sixteen pieces of e-mail and queued them for later sending. (In fact, I started the evening with 76 pieces of e-mail in my inbox; when I finished, I'd whittled that to 24 pieces.) I figured out how to use iCal's to-do list and began to add things to it. (AmyJo, you'll be happy to hear that I added: "Fix AmyJo's blog" to the list!) I created a schedule for upcoming entries at Get Rich Slowly. I even wrote outlines of a few of these entries.
I was able to get more done in an hour than I usually do in a day. It was awesome.
"I need to find a place like that in Oak Grove," I told Kris when I returned home. "A place where I can linger, but which does not have an internet connection."
"What about the library?" she asked.
"That's good, but it has its own distractions. The place I need can't have other stuff to tempt me away from the task at hand."
The quest is on. I need to find a spot I can sit and work. I wonder if the Chinese restaurant I like so much would mind if I took up a booth for a few hours on mid-Friday or mid-Saturday afternoons?
(Hooray for small victories! I managed to write this entire entry without checking stats or e-mail. That's eighteen minutes of discipline. Discipline that ends right now...)