A Better World course exercise 7
Exercise 7 – Give something up and add something new
(Integrity): Mahatma Gandhi made it a practice to give up things in order to free himself from attachments and to grow and evolve in positive ways. Choose something in your life that you don’t consider to be MOGO and give it up. Write about the obstacles you think you may face in doing so and the support you will cultivate to maintain your commitment. You may want to give up a certain product or food or a behavior that is unhealthy to you and unhelpful to others.
Next, consider something MOGO you’d like to add to your life. Choose something positive, healthy, sustainable, and life-affirming. For example, if you chose to give up eating overpackaged foods, you might want to add fresh local produce from a farmer’s market. If you chose to give up watching TV, you could replace that with time with your family, volunteering, engaging in activism, or learning. Write about how you will go about adding this new element to your life.
I want to give up wasting time on the computer.
I spend a great deal of time in front of a computer, both at home and at work. I'm not really concerned with time spent at the computer when I am actually being productive, but often at home I find myself simply spending time checking and re-checking email, checking for new articles in my rss reader, and so on.
My computer is also what I use to watch television or movies and to listen to music. It's very multifunction for me, so it's really easy to just gravitate towards having it on my lap all the time.
I would like to be able to be on the computer to get work done and then finish. Getting work done can mean using it for communication, but I don't like that it often becomes just a way to spend time.
In order to do this I think I need to be a bit more organized so that I can use the computer with intention. Knowing what needs to get done will help me to be more focused in doing it. If I am more organized and know what needs to get done then I will also feel more relaxed and comfortable about not being on the computer being "busy." So often I feel like a lot needs to get done, and the computer is the tool for doing a lot of it, so I just open it up and then do a bunch of different things, without real focus. In the end I still feel like a lot needs to get done.
This leads me to what I am going to add, which is more organization of projects and to-do items. I've read Getting Things Done and a couple of other books by David Allen – all of which I would highly recommend – but I've only managed to implement a couple of his suggestions. Most of which have been at work, not in the rest of my life.
He suggests keeping a comprehensive and regularly reviewed set of lists. These lists include projects, action items, and ideas for the future. He also suggests dividing lists up by context, but not worrying too much about dividing between work and the rest of life. Work is just a part of life, and unprocessed and uncaptured items from either can cause anxiety throughout my life.
He stresses the importance of a regular review of these lists and life in general, to make sure that any open items are captured and thought about. I'd like to add into my life a regular review on Sundays, where I can spend some time thinking about what I have going on and what I both need to do and want to do.