An Experiment

So my productivity levels had not quite been where I need them to be as of late. My To Do list has been in serious backlog since last week, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why. I tried getting up really early one day, that only necessitated a momentum-killing nap later in the day. I don’t watch much TV before 9pm anymore, just PRICE IS RIGHT in the morning and DAYS OF OUR LIVES in the afternoon. But just in case, I cut down to the last half hour of PIR and skipped DOOL all together — though really is there any reason to work from home if you can’t enjoy at least one soap? Methinks not! Still for the sake of finally getting my to do list to done I sacrificed DOOL for two days straight. No go. I was still staring down at least 10 items left to do at the end of each night.

This was very upsetting. I have childcare and I had thought that I had organized my life in such a way that allowed me to get things done. So, completely stymied, I outsourced the problem to my husband. Maybe it’s that I don’t have enough time to get everything done, I suggested. Maybe it’s because I really do have ADHD, even though the Wall Street Journal told me that I didn’t earlier this year.

He answered that there was one culprit I hadn’t considered: The Internet. Maybe he said, you need to use it less.

Now you know how people in Overeaters Anonymous always say that it’s hard to conquer their addiction, b/c you need food to survive. Well, I don’t feel that way about food, but I do feel that way about the internet.

On one hand, I truly do need the internet to blog and stay in contact with important folk. I do most of my networking online, so there is no way that I could cut out the internet all together. But have I sat down to work on a specific project, and then an hour later still  not started it, b/c I was on Twitter and an interesting email came through and oh so-and-so posted her newborn baby pictures on Facebook? Well, yeah, that’s might have happened a few times. Okay weekly. Okay, okay daily!

So here’s what we came up with. I would stick to my regular schedule. The only thing is that when CH left for work around 11am, he would turn off the internet, leaving me with only my iPhone to access the interwebs. Then when he got home at night, he’d turn back on the internet. He also made a no-electronics in bed rule. This meant that if I wanted to get online or on my laptop or even surf on my phone, I’d have to leave the bed to do it.

I reluctantly agreed to these terms until the end of the week, thinking that we’d try it out and it would only yield a slight uptick in my To Done. Well, yesterday morning, I got up. Put in Fierce and Nerdy, watched the last half hour of PRICE IS RIGHT and then CH left as did the internet. I still had emails to answer, so I finished answering them and left them in my outbox, so that they would send when CH got home.

Betty went down for her nap, so I worked on one backlogged project. And then another backlog project. And by the time Betty woke up I had nearly caught up with my pre-Tuesday To Do lists and I hadn’t even broken into my formal childcare hours! So I attacked my rewrite during my writing time and when Betty went down for the night, here I worked on my Wednesday blogumn in my basement office as opposed to, reading my twitter timeline or clearing out my Google Reader or surfing Zappos and trying to convince myself that I really do deserve a pair of Frye boots (I’ve been doing this every winter for the past four years now, and I’ve yet to get a pair of Frye boots).

I must say that I’m a little shocked at how well The Experiment is going only one day in, and if I’m still yielding these kind of results by week’s end, I might have to (gasp!) keep it going. But how about you? Do you think that you could give up being able to access the internet outside of your iPhone for 10 hours every day? Or kick all of your electronics out of bed? Let me know in the comments!

Meanwhile, I think I really am going to finally get that pair of Frye’s boots tonight…

featured image credit: Federico_Morando