Monday, March 9, 2009

Computer boundaries

After a whole week off of blogging, I have had the opportunity that I needed to set boundaries for this area of my life. Blogging does not control me, it is not a treasure that I need to seek out. It is a tool to share how God is at work in my life. It provides an outlet to encourage others and record special moments. It can never take priority over time with family or serving Christ.

In order to reset my boundaries I felt it necessary to take a week away and remember what I used to do with those few minutes here and there that I now use to steal away to the computer to type, edit, or update blog posts.

This past week I spent more time reading the Bible. I gave and received more hugs and snuggles. I got more sleep. I felt more free. Clearly my priorities had gotten out of whack! Or, as my daughter said, maybe they were in whack. "Whack" sounds more like something I should stay out of.

Blogging isn't evil, just like money isn't. But, the love of it might be, especially if it takes precedence over what God has called me to and created me for.

After stepping back and evaluating how my priorities needed reorganization, I began mulling over my new "Computer Rules."

These will look different for everyone, but this is what works for me:

- The computer stays off in the morning until my Bible time and chores are done. If I finish everything before we start school at 9:00, I can spend a few minutes checking email and other odds and ends.

- I don't turn my computer on on Sundays at all. I started this a few weeks ago and I love it! It does force me to use my time more wisely on Saturday to prepare for the upcoming school week and post my verse of the week if I have it ready, otherwise it waits until Monday. In interest of full disclosure here, I do occasionally check my email on someone else's computer Sunday evening to make sure that I don't miss anything I need to know for co-op first thing Monday. But, checking this on a different computer keeps me from the temptation of, "Oh, I'll just check my Reader real quick, too" or "I should look for a new recipe for _____" or "How many people visited my site this weekend?" etc.

- I established computer hours, with some flexibility. They generally will be 9-10 at night and 3-4 in the afternoon if everything is done in the way of school work by then. And, I will spend a few hours on Saturday as well.

- Turn off the computer during in between times. This is huge in reducing the temptations to jump on for "just a minute."

I am comfortable with these now, although I may find they need tweaking over the weeks ahead. This of course does not include school work which we do on the computer in the school room and I don't generally have access to "my" stuff on that computer.

I have found this "fasting" method helpful when I need to realign my priorities in a variety of areas. Eating habits, TV viewing habits, money spending, etc. can all employ this method. When I want to resume more healthy eating habits I find that spending a week without sweets or breads or whatever temptation is becoming too much the norm gives me a chance to reset my boundaries in that area.

God has everything that I need and sometimes I need a special time away from distractions to really soak up what that means.


Elizabeth Symington said...

I defiantly need some blogging boundaries. I meant to post my wfmw and comment on just a couple of others and now 2 hours has gone by.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
See you next week.

Calina said...

I totally understand! I've had to reestablish my computer usage, too.

5intow said...

Elizabeth, I can so relate to that! Time gets away from us so quickly while on the computer. There is such a wealth of information out there, but I needed to remind myself that I needed to spend more time off my computer to actually put the great ideas to work. :-)

Calina, glad to hear you have taken steps to control this great tool. Thanks for sharing that.