A few years back, I was working on building a food site, inspired in spirit by Ravelry. And, being me, I read every book I could find on social media, community sites, and a whole selection on various vague internetty topics.
One thought stuck with me, although the author’s name did not: Make it easy to do the right thing and as close as you can to impossible to do the wrong thing. Since I’ve been thinking a lot about my patterns and taking care of my self and my space, this thought has been popping up often.
Obviously, this works better in some cases than others. For instance: I’m still working on how to make it easier to go to dance class than stay in bed. But it may be simpler than it seems for other tasks.
The TV Vortex
Two and a half weeks ago I decided that I needed a streaming TV break. I was spending 10+ hours a week watching TV shows. While, at the same time, I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day. I have things I want to accomplish and reruns of shows from when I was in high school were getting in the way of that.
So, I paid attention to when, why and how I watched my shows. I watched when I was feeling out of sorts, when I felt like I needed a reward, when I wanted to rest. I also watched when I ate lunch. And I always clicked on the link in my Most Recent Places menu when I opened a new tab.
Making the Easy
So, first, I made getting there harder. I removed all references to my site of choice from Most Recent Places, it is in fact editable. I started watching TED talks during lunch, they’re shorter and mostly really interesting. When I wanted a break, I started looking at my favorite food blogs (which, come to think of it, may be what started that cascade of food themed posts a couple of weeks back). Feeling out of sorts… tea and coloring should help that.
This is not to say that I haven’t wanted to watch a show. I have, but I want the space and time to come at it in a different way. And, the thing is, I do have to think about it. I can’t just click a button or two and be there. Having to make the conscious choice to type in the URL makes a difference, makes it a conscious choice.
As I write this I’ve got about two weeks left on my self imposed TV ban and I *am* getting more done. Watching those patterns showed me other patterns that needed revising. I figured out how to get my calendar to function in a way that I would actually use. My internet habits, in general, are shifting too.
And that thing about going to dance class instead of staying in bed, I may have found a use for that programable vacuum cleaner, besides cleaning the floors. I would have to get out of bed to turn it off (it’s too loud to run while I’m in the house), so it’s just as easy to leave as it is to chase the vacuum down and hit the off switch. If I ever get the vacuum, I’ll let you know.
Are there any ways you have employed Making the Right Thing the Easy Thing in your life? Are there any ways you could?