Sunday, 2 February 2014


How many of us have niggles or things we want to change but struggle because we are stuck, lack confidence or bravery?  Well, don't give up hope. I discovered sometimes we block ourselves or get in our own way of making things happen.

Take last week. I was off work and planned to use some of this time doing things around the house that I don't normally have time for. I made up my mind not to switch the computer on until later in the day.  It is far too easy to think:
'Oh, I'll check emails' as I pass or,
'I'll just see if there are any updates on Facebook'.....
The next thing an hour or two has passed.  Are you the same?

And so I started one thing, which led to another and another, and my energy and momentum just kept flowing. It was a huge achievement and at the end of the day I had so much to show for my time and effort. I felt great!

 At the end of the day I switched on the computer and very timely I
saw a post about how Facebook and social media can be linked with avoidance. Brene' Brown suggests that when we are struggling it is easier to post on Facebook or twitter and to feel uplifted by immediate comment or encouragement. It can also help us to avoid the problem or thing we find difficult to face, as the gratification of feeling supported or in company reduces our unwanted feeling. I immediately saw a connection, about how easy it is for me to sit on the computer and to feel part of a wider network of like minded people and friends, and how much more preferable this is to facing difficult things such as de-cluttering, sorting out paperwork or other mundane tasks.

And yet by not switching on the computer I discovered I felt more satisfied by what I achieved and I had far more to show for my day.  So I will embrace this and try to make it a regular habit. To do what I need to do and THEN switch on the computer! 

Some of you will know that I am working through The Artists Way*.  Interestingly I started Chapter 4 today and I am encouraged to deprive myself of books and other distractions for one week. It doesn't surprise me that this comes up now to remind me of a lesson learned. So I will include tv and the likes of Facebook since these also occupy lots of my time and take me away from other things I could be doing. And I don't just mean chores, I mean being creative and having fun too. Because on days when I come home from work and then make the most of my evening by going out or doing something interesting (rather than just watching tv or sitting on the computer) my time stretches and a day can feel like a weekend.

And so while I will find it difficult to restrict these things for a week I will embrace this idea with relish. Because I know I have lots of other things I can enjoy and look forward to, and that these are a distraction. I have lots of ideas for blog posts, photos (more than I care to think about) waiting to be organised into files, and lots of projects in progress.  I am hoping to catch up with some of these and to continue other things I have started because I have learnt that facing things we sometimes avoid isn't always as bad once we get going! 

 *The Artists Way is a book written by Julia Cameron. More information here.


  1. I just typed a longish comment to this post, pressed "publish" and it disappeared, so another small instance of time wasted. I'm going to give switching my PC on at 9am for work instead of at 6.30am for pleasure a go and see how I get on. It always goes off at 5.30pm so my evenings are PC free to do what I choose.
    Joy xx

  2. It is so easy to loose hours on the computer Joy, putting some restraints into place is a good thing to do. Must try that myself! LOL

  3. I try to avoid Facebook as much as possible - I just feel overwhelmed by it - but I would surf blogs all day given the time and the opportunity. I'm the other way round from most people - I turn my laptop off at teatime and never use it in the evenings. If I do I find I can't sleep, so I know it definitely does have an effect on my brain and yes I do get a lot more done when it's not on. (The computer, that is, not my brain...) Here's to balance!

  4. Two thoughts come to mind. I do lots of crafts, bake all of our bread, garden and do a lot of fun things around the house - and friends often ask how I get so much done - my answer - I gave up TV completely - 12 years ago. I decided back then to give it up for 1 year (though at that time I was only watching about 2 hours a day average) and it was delightful - no scary "drama news" was the first benefit - since most news is only for entertainment. I get my news in more appropriate ways now - with no advertising.

    And second - so often people say, "where does the time go?" or "does it seem possible it is already summer and we just had christmas?" etc. By spending my time not watching tv I find that time doesn't rush by. It glides smoothly along and gives me a feeling of actually stretching. Watch a 2 hour movie, and even if you do handwork during that time - the special moments of the day are sucked right into the tv. It wasn't hard for me to give up tv - and I do restrict my social media to a couple hours a day - I doubt I could completely give up the computer for fun - but limiting it gives me so much more time in my day, and my life. Of course some days I put in quite a bit of time on the computer, but it is not my regular schedule - as my grandma used to say - make it work for you, don't work for it. (not referring, of course to the computer, but it can be applied to so many things). Wise grandma.

  5. I know I waste far too much time on the internet.....but it's blogs and Pinterest that I lose hours time on Facebook is quick and delibirate.

  6. I can really relate to this Sandie - a quick 5 minutes easily becomes 25 or 125! I think I will stop turning on the laptop with my breakfast cuppa ... and pledge not to switch it on until after midday! Wish me luck!

  7. I wholeheartedly agree Sandie, I realised early last year that it was taking an hour just to get round to say hello everywhere in all the challenges/classes etc. Never mind having a browse. So I too consciously do not turn it on mindlessly anymore. I am not perfect at it but I am much better and I get loads more done. Good luck. xxx

  8. It is a really interesting challenge, Sandie .. not reading would be exceedingly hard, though I am a non-fiction girl. Facebook, apart from class groups, and TV pass me by. Looking forward to seeing how you find it this month! Presumably reading what we write doesn't count?

  9. I so agree with what you say, Sandie...if I don't get caught up in blog reading, emails or just browsing on my IPad, I get so much done in my is indeed all too easy to use it as a tool for procrastination!
    Alison xx

  10. Wow, this is timely, I have gotten caught up in blog reading after a week away and the day is disappearing...and I do have some big deadlines looming!!!

  11. really interesting post sandie and I am sure it would do us all a lot of good to have less screen time. It is something DS is struggling with as GOSH recommend no more than 4 hours screen time a day! So being a techy boy who often only 'sees' his friends online this is proving rather difficult.

  12. You are so right Sandie - it took me 3 hours to clean two rooms on Sunday because I kept returning to the laptop to 'just do this little job' which then turned into being sucked into other things again!

  13. I know all to well about the avoidance thing. This year I have been trying to stay off the computer so often, but then when I do sit down there, I can take time to do quite a bit all at once. I think by shortening the number of the visits to my computer screen, has helped me to be more productive. I'm still getting as much done online, just wasting a lot less time.


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