Having time to think

Do you have the time to think? To ponder? To be imaginative or innovative? How often do you have great ideas?

In the last few months, I’ve felt ‘busy’.   I realised I’ve been missing my thinking time. It’s hard to explain it, but I know I used to find myself thinking of others.  Or setting goals.  Or getting lost in activities without thinking about the next one. Or just getting things done that aren’t urgent, but I’d like done.

hehehe Source: tarisota.typepad.com
Source: tarisota.typepad.com

So then I looked at what had changed – I’d moved in with someone, so there’s a lot less solitary time.  But that didn’t feel like it was the cause.  The BF leaves me for a few hours to go to the gym, and there’s about 2 hours every day when he’s at work, and I’m already home.  No, it wasn’t as simple as that.

Was it that I was busier at work?  Sure, I think about work, but I don’t actively work at home.  I like to think I do a pretty good ‘switch off’ when I’m at home.  Occasionally I’ll get a phone call, and then I’ll be back to work mode.  And on a Sunday I might briefly review in my mind what I have coming up in the week.  But I certainly don’t actively discuss it at the dinner table (mainly cause I wouldn’t want the BF falling asleep, face planted in his meal!).

I wonder source: www.empowernetwork.com by Apple Daniels
I wonder
source: www.empowernetwork.com by Apple Daniels

Then I realised what it really was.  It was the 24/7 access to full screen internet.  Most of the time I lived in the loft, I only had the internet on my smart phone.  I could look up recipes, read blogs or check Facebook.  But it was too annoying to spend endless hours on.  So I’d bake, or sew, or tidy or clean or go for a run.  Or watch TV or a DVD (it wasn’t all virtuous)

Now I have my laptop with wifi 100% of the time.  And with internet comes the option to watch any show, anytime.

I miss the ‘quiet’.

It’s nice now that I don’t miss reading a post or commenting on every blog I follow.  (The BF asked me how many blogs I read, and I guessed 30.  The reality was closer to 55).  It’s not that I don’t enjoy the blog reading and commenting, it’s just that I miss the thinking time I had previously more.

In light of this, I think I will try a digital ‘recess’ every day between when I finish work (I leave at 3.30pm and get home at 4pm usually), and some arbitrary time.  Let’s say 7pm?  By 7pm, the BF will be home, and I’m less likely to be suction capped to a screen with a human around (that’s positively rude).  I won’t outright ban reading articles or looking up recipes, but I will mindfully plan 3 hours that don’t involve the laptop.

So, back to the beginning:

Do you have the time to think? To ponder? To be imaginative or innovative? How often do you have great ideas?

17 Replies to “Having time to think”

  1. Rom says he is going to have an Internet-free day once a week but I am not up for it! I have a lot of leisure time for reading, cooking, working out, volunteering, etc. Not to mention house and yard work. So I am not too concerned about my Internet time-suckage even though it's a lot! As for being imaginative or innovative, I hope some of that happens at work 🙂

    1. The BF was totally behind my idea, but he's not saying he'll downsize his internet! I think so long as you feel you have enough time for all you want to do, it's not a problem. Do you mean you are imaginative at work, or asking if I am? Mostly, in my work, I'm not (at least not in the way I think people mean when they ask that!)

  2. I have been feeling similarly lately, mostly because I've been so busy at work. I also thought at one time I had maybe 30 blogs I really enjoyed, but when I sorted them out into a "favorites" folder, it came to double that! I love to comment and read other posts, but sometimes it's not possible to make the rounds. I see others doing it without a problem, and I wish could be more like them, but it's important to do what's right for yourself. So many dedicate their time to blogging, and I'm just not there yet. I enjoy spending quality time with the boyfriend, and doing things away from the computer. I think having a little break time will help! I've been trying to break until after dinner, when he is mostly falling asleep anyway…

    1. Good plan! I think work being busy (for both of us) definitely adds to the mental busyness. I hope you find a balance. Stick to commenting when things make you feel like you want to say something, no one should be offended if you don't comment on every post.

  3. I am a huge believer in NOT being ever-busy. I know many people think busy = productive but I think lots of the "big picture" ideas and creative ideas happen when the pressure of being busy is off (maybe though because I'm more of an "sociable introvert" than a full-on extrovert. )

    I have to limit screen time because sometimes I cannot get on our only household computer when I'm competing with DH and Mr. 9!

    1. Oh yes, I'm someone who feels I need to be busy and productive much of the time (another post I semi drafted around the same time actually!) But I realise at work, sometimes I have my best ideas/recollections about things I need to do for work, in the bathroom. It's not nice, but I'm glad things are coming back to me and I'm not forgetting them!

      Interestingly, people think I'm an introvert, but people who know me well (ie my boarding mistress/substitute mother) could see I'm an introvert who acts extroverted… I'm not which is true, but I definitely need down time!

  4. I have my thinking time when I go for a walk. I really miss it when work gets to busy and in winter when it is too dark after work. It might be the magic ingredient: not being on the Internet or phone while I walk that allows me to drift. I don't play music and mainly walk on my own, so no interruptions to thinking.

    I tried not using my iPad on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work, so I could talk with my husband and kids. But got sucked back into having it to hand. Might switch off my emails after work so I am not still in work mode.

    1. Maybe I need a daily walk (or exercise)? It certainly wouldn't hurt – I just make errands or prepping dinner more important.

      And here I'm am suckered in replying to comments when I should be preparing for bed! Sigh, balance will come!

  5. I totally get sucked into the computer (or my iPhone) , so maybe I should try this too. There's always something more to do on the blog, or something else to read, or something to check on Facebook… That's a great idea to have a period of mindful time set aside. I hope it works 🙂

  6. Sarah, I felt similar when I was trying to blog 7 days a week and keep up with everything in life. I started to take weekends off and have that time to do what I want instead of letting the computer suck me in. I have also now taken another step to call Sundays my day off. What that means is on Sundays I want no company, including the grandchildren unless it's an emergency. It's given me that breathing space I needed. But I also think while I am sanding or painting furniture. It's a quiet hobby since I don't usually use any power tools and has always had a calming effect on me. I used to use my projects as a way to get my boys to open up about things on their mind. There is something so comforting about opening up about a sensitive or emotional issue when you can look away and concentrate on the job in front of you. Every time I would start to work one would come out and get to work with me and unload his heart.

    1. Oh what a lovely story – I know that many parents like driving, as it's a private time when kids can talk with no real interruptions (like siblings, or life). I think that it's wonderful you worked this out as a way to communicate deeply with your sons. I'm sort of thinking what activities I can do that would derive the same deep talks with people I love.

  7. I think it's important to remember that the Internet is a tool. I know so many people who worry about staying "caught up" on e-mail or blog reading. That's not necessary! I read more blogs than I can count, but it's OK to check in whenever. 😉 And you KNOW how long e-mails sit in my inbox!

    I've found it helpful to stop, when I'm mindlessly surfing, and ask if that's what I REALLY want to do. If it is, great. But if not, then I go and do what I actually want to do. Just paying attention to what I'm doing has helped a lot.

    1. You're right Bethany, you have to use the internet to serve you, not the other way around! I have had a lot less time online lately, and have upped my exercise, and even socialised more. It has meant a few less posts, but I think I'm ok with that!

  8. Yes, totally Sarah! I have been so "busyish" lately and it drives me nuts! No time to blog!! Some people say "oh, I've been so busy lately" like its some badge of honour, but to me, I'm not really ever properly myself without a good dose of nothingness. Thanks for posting. Rach.

    1. I agree, it's NOT a badge of honour to me either! I just want to feel normal and balanced between all the things in my life! Thankfully a few hours of pottering around last night whilst the BF was at the gym really helped even my keel!

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