The other night I found myself in an all too popular situation. I had a big post to finish writing, dinner to cook, and a still hadn’t completed my daily run. But instead of getting on top of any of these tasks I was instead glued to my phone, constantly refreshing my feed and clicking on every single article in twitter. Each article would lead me to another article, and another, and another, and another.
Pretty soon a whole hour had passed. I’m a pro at procrastination.
But the fact that I just couldn’t tear my face away from my phone begged me to ask the question:
How did I procrastinate before social media and smart phones? Before I had a smart phone, I would be sitting with my Macbook in my lap, quickly turning myself into a serious stalker on Facebook.
Before Facebook was introduced in 2004, during my senior year of college, I would put off writing assignments by chatting on AIM or by feeding my addiction to Snood. (remember snood?! The first candy crush!)
But, even so, I believe I spent more time off the internet than on because we could leave it behind. It wasn’t always constantly with us, taunting us with adorable cat videos, Miley Cyrus articles, or 5 billion ways to cook, decorate, dress, and live better on Pinterest. When I seriously needed to get work done, I would post a fun little ‘away message” on aim, leave my dorm room and head over to the library. Oh the glorious library. I loved sequestering myself in one of the little cubicles tucked away in a quiet corner on the 3rd floor, surrounded by the musty yet loved smell of old books, with only a pen, a notebook, and a stack of books.
That is an almost unimaginable scene in this day and time.
As are these 5 ways I used to procrastinate before the internet took over:
Be ready to feel like the internet is the most unhealthy, anti social, destructive tool ever.
1. Go running
When I didn’t want to study for biology, or rewrite that one damn poem for the 10th time, I’d lace up my running shoes and go for a long run. Yes, I still run now, but it’s at a scheduled time that I often put off because I’m too absorbed reading facts on IMDB or Buzzfeed articles.
2. Play with my dog more
Before smartphones, Maggie would receive more one on one cuddle time, ball throwing fun, and long walks. She and my childhood dog, Missy, would benefit from me putting off work. Maggie’s smart – she knows that petting her with one hand while I shop online with the other is not quality time. She promptly jumps down and scowls at me from a chair across the room.
3. Talk on the phone
Yes, it’s true. I would actually use my phone to talk to people, with my voice. In high school I’d spend HOURS on the phone. I now hate talking on the phone. What happened?
To avoid doing any other project I would turn to cleaning my room or organizing my project. Just proves that you can accomplish SO much when you don’t want to do the one thing you really should be doing.
Naps are a beautiful thing. Before, if I had writer’s block or just wasn’t feeling into a project, I’d take a 30 minute nap and wake up feeling refreshed. Now, I still go lie down in bed and tell myself I can take a 30 minute nap – but instead of promptly closing my eyes I find myself scrolling through blogs and instagram. Pretty soon my 30 minutes are up and my eyes are more tired than ever. Fail.
So basically, I’d be living a more enriched and productive life. So, why is it so hard for us to disconnect from our phones?
And if you need some help prolonging any task you wanted to complete today, here are 5 articles to assist you:
Have a great weekend!