New Resolutions…brave new Sheds.

As some of my twitter followers may be aware (I prefer to call them ‘devotees’), I’ve been thinking of turning over a new leaf. One of my devotees, Graham (oh, do visit his wonderful blog, Crow World. There’s a link to it in my blogroll) pointed out to me that maybe my TV and internet preponderance might be resulting in some frustrations. I thought about this long and hard and realised Graham was right!

On a saturday I rarely get dressed until 2pm. Why? Pure procrastination. I wake up, throw my dressing gown on, blunder down the stairs, and put the kettle on as my computer hums into it’s blue welcome glow. Then I sit, transfixed like a cat by a washing machine, by the box of delights. Searching for music, scouring blogs, watching 4OD. At some point someone will knock at the door and I will shamefacedly open the door to my mother.

Why the procrastination? What exactly am I avoiding?

Not sure. In 2001 it was very clear. In 2001 I started my internet career as ‘Angel’. At that time, I’d embarked on my doctorate and I’d just got the internet with unlimited access. No more modem bing-boing-bing-boing and shut it down after 10 seconds after you recieved all your e-mail for excrusicating fear of the spiralling costs. This was proper internet access in all it’s discussion-board-msn-messneger-yahoo-chat-room glory. What was I avoiding then? Simple. Course work.

Course work. My doctorate would have been amazing if it wasn’t for the coursework. It was relentless. Difficult. Overwhelming. BORING. So avoidance reasons were clearer.

But what now?What am I avoiding?

Shit boring jobs around the house. The eternal trudgery of the home owner. Phone a gas fitter. Put up a curtain pole. Change the sheets. Clear up after my boyfriend. Once you’ve done most of the jobs, you breathe in. You breathe out. It needs doing again. The internet is my retreat into a virtual fantasy life where cleaning doesn’t exist.

Getting dressed. Not in a pervy way, mind. Who are you? Stefan Dennis?

Oh it’s such a ridiculous faff being a woman. If I get off the computer, that means I have to get dressed. If I have to get dressed, I probably should shower, and shave. Oh, it’s the weekend, so I should fake tan, as i’m off out that night. If I fake tan, I’ve got to exfoliate…If I’m going out I need to wash my hair…and then where do I fit in going the gym to make sure I look alright in these stupid clothes I own.

You can see why I procrastinate. Maintaining your appearance as a woman is a full time job. When you’re not in work, you’re tirelessly involved in your unpaid, merciless occupation of ‘looking attractive’. It’s the hardest job in the world.  Even if you persue this thankless job, with the full vigour of the paranoid, you still can’t escape the unkind comments that someone will throw in your path.

Procrastination was Hamlet’s fatal flaw, was it not? But is it mine?

I’m limiting my internet access to half an hour a day to see how my life changes. What I can achieve. How my mood changes. How my relationships change.

I’ve some simple rules

1. half an hour internet a day. I can check twitter on my HTC on my lunch break also.

2. Go to bed 11.30 every night, rather than 12.30. Maybe tiredness is a maintenance factor of procrastination, avoidance and therefore computer use.

3. Excercise comes before computer use. Computer use comes from disatisfaction with the self. Avoidance of getting dressed, being disappointed etc. Maybe increased exercise will boost self esteem and self efficacy, thus less need for a retreat into a virtual life.

Will report back on progress tomorrow.

Your thoughts are, as always, valued and welcomed.

ps. It’s only day 2 and I’ve done 2 blog posts. With excessive internet use, I could never get inspired enough to blog.  I think there’s something in this!


10 thoughts on “New Resolutions…brave new Sheds.

  1. God. I’m so glad I’m not a woman. I hate shaving…

    Glad to hear that exercise comes before computer use. Just make regular exercise a habit and you’ll be fine. Also I require my 8 hours of sleep a night. Exercise always makes me feel really good once I’ve done it, but I do find it really hard to get out there and do it in the first place. The thought of doing it is worse than actually doing it. Stupid brain!

    Good luck with the experiment. Hope you become a superstar as a result of it 🙂


  2. Ah Dr A I am humbled & hope your experiment has a useful & interesting result. So it sounds like excessive TV & internet use can cause people to be smelly, haggard & undressed. In some circumstances that can be attractive. I think I first mentioned yr tv habits out of envy. So much free time! Doing this on my nokia, my wife has an HTC wildfire & it gives me the willies. Now, coffee break’s over, people are looking at me. Think my next blog might be an expose of why I blog. Circularism rules. X

  3. Dr Angel, you need to utilise the Pomodoro Technique and get stuff done. I was taught it in an animation studio.

    Failing that, try adopting a three year old for a long weekend and see just how much you can cram into one day when X-Factor and a bottle of wine are the only things motivating you towards 7pm (secretly, I am utterly and completely jealous of your lifestyle and would like to do a life swap for a weekend so I can sit around in me boxers watching iPlayer, reading The Week and playing Xbox…)

  4. Thanks guys for your comments. Was really touched by your thoughtful and helpful comments.

    Headphaze: yes, I hope I become a superstar from this experiment too. I’ll take you all to the Maldives on my private jet made of diamonds and astroturf.

    Monkey: my cockles are warmed by your positive feedback on the blog. Hopefully my new regime will mean you do not have to wait such long intervals for ridiculous snippets from the tree of Angel.

    Graham & Mr. Shev: I can’t tell you how surprised I was to hear of your envy of my lifestyle. It really is an unproductive one, but I can see how I have the space to idle when you don’t have any option to idle.

    Graham, would love to read a blog about blogging. A metablog. Graham’s metablog! O lord. I bet it’s covered in flamingos and pictures of beautiful ladies.

    I’m at the stage in my life when I’m thinking about offspring. Does this mean I should seriously reconsider, Mr. Shev? You seem to happy and contented with being a dad, albeit it’s a hectic endeavour, strewn with potholes and a few bits of excrement.

    I looked into the pomodoro technique just now. Thanks for recommending. I’m going to pilot it tomorrow in work and see how it goes.Funnily enough, I’ve just started reading a occupational psychology style book about stress and time management, so the Pomdoro technique has met me at a opportune time. Do you find yourself still using it? What do you make of it?

    • I used to find concentrating on a particular task almost impossible – and get distracted by Facebook, Twitter, etc – I would also get daunted by the task itself (easy to happen in animation). But a senior animator recommended this and it really does help, you end up learning how to work with intensity. I can now block out everything and work with concentration for a hour or so without a break.

      Kids are awesome, they make you laugh, make you tired, make you focused and make you get angry and take away any free time you ever had – but ultimately this all adds up to a great ride. Wouldn’t change it for the world.

  5. Pingback: Import/Export « Dr. Angel's World of Sheds

  6. Ah, the endless distraction that is the internet. I’m not sure being on the internet is always an avoidance tactic, rather that the internet is like a massive shopping centre that caters for all tastes. A result of which is you aimlessly head to ‘the internet’ without any specific goal in mind, other than to simply browse.

    And, because the internet is always there, you seem to endlessly ‘window shop’ and never get around to buying anything.

    At least the bloggers out there, of which you are one, are setting out a stall for others to browse. Me, I simply browse and kick myself, repeatedly, for not even attempting to set out my own stall. This doesn’t stop me giving ‘helpful advice’ to existing stall owners, i.e. leaving comments.

    Apologies for any dizziness that may result from the wanton mixing of metaphors.

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