MAY and my unplugged challenge

May 1, 2014

This is going to be a big month.
May always has a special place in my heart.  My birthday is on the 20th, and our anniversary the 27th.  Growing up in Philadelphia, it was when we could finally count on warm temperatures and outdoor fun.  Now I also have Mothers’ Day to look forward to (though I will be even more excited when A&C can grasp the concept themselves!).

And this May, I’ll be headed back to work, my second (and likely last) maternity leave coming to an end.  Ahhh, so bittersweet!  I will definitely write more about the transition as I go through it, but right now I am feeling quite positive.  I feel great about our childcare situation which really helps — having this remain more or less the same will hopefully make tomorrow’s morning goodbyes less heart-wrenching than they were 2 years ago (oh, how I cried at Annabel’s first day care drop-off!).

(Moment of sap.  OMG, am I really leaving these muffins home!?!?)

As you all know, I am really determined to work on disconnecting from the constant pull of technology these days (which really includes phone addiction AND excess time spent on the computer in general). I have struggled with coming up with concrete enough goals to really focus on in this realm — after all, I don’t want to give up these tools completely, as there are definitely some positive aspects — but merely stop the abuse and subsequent feeling of fragmented (and often wasted) experience.

I’m often guilty of identifying way too many areas to work on at once, and then failing in my scattered quest.  So I would like to dedicate this month to working on JUST this issue.

THE ISSUE:  too much time spent online, often flitting from site to site and not getting much useful out of the journey; being distracted by the smartphone 

THE BUY-IN:  getting these habits under control will help me to live a more peaceful and mindful existence.  I will be able to spend time NOT wasted on the internet doing other more interesting/fun things.  


1.  Internet-free hours.  I am going to challenge myself to stay OFF of the internet (recreational use*, with a few exceptions noted below) from morning until 8:00pm, unless pumping.  

2.  Unplugged Saturdays.  I am going to stay off of the internet on Saturdays entirely — other than for specific things like finding a recipe, checking directions, making social plans, etc.  

3.  I will check email only on my computer (not my phone) unless there is something specific I have to look up, and limit these sessions to twice daily:  once mid-day and once in the evening.  I will also respond to blog comments at those times.

Processing email less frequently and only on the computer will actually save a lot of time, as I can respond to things much more easily with a keyboard.  As the wise KK pointed out, it’s also much more fun as one’s in-box is more likely to contain something valuable if you’re only checking it infrequently!

4.  I will also only read blogs, check facebook, etc on my computer (not my phone).  In addition to preventing distracting, this will help me use these as more interactive (and not just voyeuristic!) tools.  

* includes facebook, reading blogs, reading random websites/gossip/news.  Does not include writing posts here or any use needed for work. 

I will check in weekly with progress every Monday and share the strategies that are working (or not working) as well as my experiences in making this shift.  I think I need to print this post out and hang it on the wall to remind me 🙂  WISH ME LUCK!  Anyone else trying something similar?  I will be using all of your tips, so thank you!

PS:  Vampire Weekend was awesome.  So glad we went.  

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