Developer Workaholism Experiment #1
My first foray into ways to attenuate my web development workaholism has been experimenting with “computer-free Mondays.” It’s my adaptation of the practice of “unplugging” one day per week.
Even though I frequently run across enthusiastic articles about “unplugging,” there are a number of reasons that it’s never appealed to me. For example:
- It means no phone calls or texts, which aren’t a problem for me. I’m an introvert who’s prone to cauliflower-ear, so I don’t over-indulge – and it’s a primary way to stay in touch with family, which is very high priority.
- Alternatively, cutting off “the Internet” isn’t enough for me. It’s easy to code without connecting to it. Actually, I do that almost every weekend, given my email proclivities.
- Being off email on weekends, my coding creativity often surges. That’s not something I want to risk losing.
To my surprise, it turns out the biggest barrier for me was finding a day of the week. Weekends (the obvious choice) were out because of that creativity time. But then I remembered one of my few heroes, Gandhi, always had “Silent Mondays.” For years, Gandhi spent every Monday in silence, no matter who came to meet him. Moreover, Monday is a day many religious professionals have their “weekend.”
This simple notion – Mondays – propelled me over my hump. As soon as I wrapped my mind around Mondays, everything else fell into place with very little thought. As of last week, the specific parameters are for my Mondays became:
- The timing runs like Gandhi’s, i.e., midnight to midnight ever Monday.
- Don’t use my laptop at all. Period.
- The only apps on my mobile that are OK to use are phone, texts, calendar, and camera.
- Don’t indulge in introspection. (My goal has to do with awakening, not psychological study or healing.)
- Do a hefty amount of zazen.
- Have fun.
I began this past Monday – and it was better than I dreamed possible. I literally felt “shiny” (à la Kaylee of Firefly).
In September I’ll reassess, but, given how liberating this first Monday was, I’d be amazed if I don’t keep it up.