I spend too long on my phone.
Many of us can say that, and I’m by no means as bad as some, but I do occasionally get frustrated with myself for spending so long, say, playing games on my phone. Sometimes while my laptop–ostensibly to write on–is literally sitting on my lap and being ignored until such a time as I’m done with said gaming (often with a mental finger wag at myself). And certainly a fair share of the time playing while I could be reading instead.
This isn’t to say that gaming doesn’t have a time and a place. Just that I find myself indulging it a bit much. A lot, at times.
What occurred to me today was a challenge for myself: What if every time I wanted to play a game on my phone I did something productive instead? I won’t be toting a little notepad everywhere, and of course neither a book nor my beloved Kobo, so it’s not going to be an instant switch from gaming itch to being productive immediately–and yes, I say reading is being productive, because I’m learning something or uploading something new (and hopefully creative and interesting) into my brain–but I will strive to do something productive as close to that moment as possible.
The initial idea was to try that for a month. For all of July, say, any time I wanted to play a game on my phone, do something productive instead. It would be interesting to see the results.
Having said all that, a month is a long goddamn time to start something totally new and go cold turkey* on something you’ve gotten so used to for so long, so a month may be a ridiculous thing to try, but maybe a week or two to see how that goes? See how bad the jonesing gets and try to handle it day to day? Then if it goes well maybe add another week on at a time? Or something?
I’m also considering adding in some exercise to that mix . Which is also arguably productive but even were you to argue that, it’s undeniably a healthier thing to do. So maybe when I’m hankering to play something at one point I’ll sit and make myself crank out a new idea for a comic series I’m working on (be it amazing or utter crap or anything in between). And then other times I’ll drop and do five pushups (yes, shut up, just five because I’m not trying to impress anyone here and that’s five better than nothing).
Anyway, I may try that. And if so, I’ll of course keep you posted on progress/degree of sweaty anxiety.
*Incidentally, why does “cold turkey” mean “completely depriving yourself of something”? We should come up with a better term for that, because completely depriving yourself of something is going to feel bad and cold turkey is goddamn delicious. They’re practically opposites rather than one meaning the same as the other.