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Physical World Phriday

If you are reading this at an inopportune time, you need to keep reading.

It might be the middle of the night.

You might be procrastinating while at work.

But either way, the last thing you should be doing now is having clicked on a completely optional blog post and started reading.  (Despite the relative awesomeness of the blog; but I digress…)

Maybe you’re reading this at an appropriate moment for you to be killing some time online.  Sunday afternoon on your iPad, for example.  Or maybe you’re bored on a subway commute.  If so, this article is not for you.  You have an appropriate relationship with Internet time management.

But this post is for people like me.

It’s for people who default to online.  Internet Addiction, they call it.  You’ve probably heard of this condition.  And even if you haven’t, the name kind of says it all.

I am not a textbook-case Internet Addict.  I don’t even have a Facebook account.  (This is partially because I know that having a Facebook account would turn me from a functional addict into the Internet’s version of a wakes-up-in-the-gutter-with-needles-sticking-out-of-his-arms addict.)

The things I do online are not necessarily representative of most Internet Addicts.  But despite that, I do share one defining characteristic with my addicted brothers and sisters…

I keep coming back to the online world.  By default.

Sometimes even when the physical world dangles very worthwhile carrots.

The Lost Continent of My To-Do List

As an Internet Person, I’ve got my obligatory to-do list.  In fact, a couple different to-do lists, in different formats.  (For me, it’s Asana, Trello, and Workflowy — dependent upon the project.)

And one thing I’ve noticed with increasing regularity for the past few months is that when I’m organizing my days, the to-do’s involving the physical world…  They tend to get schucked to the “optional” section at the end of the to-do list.

Meaning that they’ll bounce to tomorrow.  And then the next tomorrow.  And then the tomorrow after that.

(Does anyone ever finish their full daily to-do list?  If so, please don’t answer.  I hate you.)

I keep coming back to the online world.  By default.

So it turns out, I’m ignoring physical reality.

Exactly what kind of to-do’s are these things?  Nothing all that fancy.  Some of them would be easy kills.  Trips to the grocery store.  Scanning physical papers that would be so easy to digitize if I’d take the 15 minutes and just be done with it.  Going to my storage locker and pulling stuff out of boxes that I’ve wanted-but-not-really-needed for going on three months now.

The digital world is just so friggin’ convenient.  And getting moreso.  Amazon Prime is the ultimate enabler.  TaskRabbit doesn’t help either.

The things I find myself actually doing in the physical world are — this is embarrassing — the bare minimum requirements of human physicality.

Eating.  Sleeping.  Bathing.  Exercising.  Sex.  Full stop.

If you think I’m exaggerating, let me stress:  I’m writing this blog post instead of doing the physical-world to-do’s on my list for today.

Hash-tag: #iSuck

Starting Next Week, I’ve Got A New Strategy

I’m calling it…

(Yes, it’s got a catchy name…)

Physical World Phriday

Fridays will be my day off-the-laptop.  All those never-quite-gotten-to to-do’s in the Physical World… Friday will be their day to rise front-and-center, and get the attention they deserve.

And hopefully, to get mercilessly done, like the virtual to-do’s on my list eventually are.

I anticipate that the laptop-less-ness of next Friday will be brutally difficult.  I’m so strapped to it, normally, that I rarely use my smart phone as an Internet device, which will make me a bit more digitally isolated than most people nowadays.

But that’s the idea, isn’t it?


I’ll be hash-tagging it on Twitter at 11:59 on Thursday.  And then…

I’ll be gone.

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