I've been experimenting with trying to spend less time online. Checking e-mail only 10 times a day versus 40 (seriously), not going online after 8 PM, choosing to get up and walk away if I don't have a purpose for being online (versus hanging out on Facebook, seeing if anyone has updated their blog, or googling random topics).
It's been... okay. I have a serious addiction to e-mail and find I'm nervous if I go over 30 minutes without checking it. Shockingly, it does not appear I am so important in the grand scheme of life that anyone can't wait the extra hour or two for me to get back to them.
I really enjoy walking away from the computer at night and on weekends. I'm able to more fully relax. I breath deeper on Saturdays knowing it's a "no computer" day.
It's a matter of establishing new habits and getting other people accostomed to those habits. Since people are so used to me responding instantly to e-mails, I've gotten a few "Are you there? Did you get my last e-mail?" follow-ups. But my friend Laine is a good role model. I know Laine checks her e-mail around 11 am and again in the late afternoon, so I don't expect to hear from her until one of those two times. Now, the chance of me checking e-mail only two times a day is non-existent. But that's okay. Baby steps.
It's not even the being online that I mind. It's the mindlessness of so much that I do online. I'm trying to take a more active role in how I choose to spend my time. Tonight, for example, I could pick away at a few projects but I know I don't work well at night so, instead, I went to the library and am going to spend the night losing myself in a novel.
Starting right now.