I had a bit of an “A ha!” moment when I was attending my conference in Boulder a few weeks ago. The leader of our workshop had us fill out a form. The first question was, “How many hours a week do you work at your job?” Easy. 40-45, pretty consistently. Sometimes more, but generally in that range. The second question was, “How many hours a week do you work doing other things to make money?” Ohhh, between blogging and freelance I’d say another 30-40. And then the next statement was “Add those up.”
It never even occurred to me that I was working 70-85 hours a week. I enjoy blogging so much that I don’t see it as an obligation, but really, it is! And it IS work.
If you add that time (all on the computer) to the amount of time I spend watching TV, I am literally in front of a screen about 95% of my waking hours.
I don’t mind my life being technology-ruled, but that figure sounds ridiculous to me.
I think this is a problem a lot of bloggers have. Moderating comments, replying to comments, answering e-mails, and, of course, actually writing blog posts is pretty much a full-time job that doesn’t have a consistent 9-to-5 schedule. Throw that on top of a “regular” job and you have technology overload. And let’s not forget any freelance work (which I have quite a bit of right now).
And while it is important to be connected, I think it is equally important to disconnect sometimes and read a book, cook a good dinner, play with your dog and forget blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the internet exist.
To deal with this, I’ve seen of a lot of bloggers institute technology-free days. No computers, TVs, cell phones, iPads, etc. for an entire day. I don’t think that is reasonable for my lifestyle.
But what I do think is reasonable is half-a-day. An afternoon. Enough time to get sucked into a good book or paint my toenails or plant a garden. So this Sunday, I’m going to try a technology-free afternoon. From 12-6pm, no TV, computer, iPad, smart phone, iPod, anything! My one usable piece of technology is my camera. I think it is fine to document things for my blog during technology-free time. I am a blogger, after all. 🙂
It is going to be hard. Especially considering there is a basketball game on at 4pm on Sunday. But I have to stop letting my life schedule be ruled by sporting events kick-offs, tip-offs, and puck-drops. Being a sports fan does not mean it needs to dictate my life. Plus, there is always DVR for after 6pm. 😛
We’ll see how it goes.