Though my computer is involved in part of it
My Laptop Is Destroying My Body
I started using a laptop six years ago. I've worn the letters off some of the keys I've used this thing so much. I spent at least one summer working on it while sitting on a couch in my sun room, with the laptop literally on my lap. I spent nearly six years of evenings working on it in the evening while sitting on the couch in the living watching TV.
I ended up with upper body pain probably for a year or two before I put two and two together and realized hunching over a computer was a contributing factor. I was able to turn that around quite a bit by working on straightening my posture both while working and doing everything else in life.
Then maybe six or eight weeks ago, while I was still dealing with Lyme issues, I was working away on the couch one evening, typing over some old journal notes into my laptop, when I experienced an excruciating pain from my shoulder to my elbow. No, I wasn't having a heart attack. I self-diagnosed a pinched nerve. It took days to clear up totally.
I haven't worked on the laptop in the evening since.
What My Laptop Messing With My Body Is Doing To My Time
Now, remember, I actually worked in the evening on the laptop while I was watching Blacklist, My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and a variety of scifish shows on Netflix. What was I doing? Blogging. Promoting the blog on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and, before it, too, crashed, Google+. I spent a week of evenings most months working on the Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar. We're talking hours of work a week. When's that stuff going to get done?
- During my daily writing time? That seems counterproductive.
- Weekends? I have been doing more on Sundays, which is laughable. After the death in our family last spring, I decided to make Sunday a Sabbath rest and diversion day. Try to attend church more often. Go for walks. Kick up yoga those days. Watch movies on TV. Read. I got back from a bike ride this past Sunday and then spent an hour or two on a blog post. So having to take on more work on weekends, in a word, sucks.
- I could drop some of this stuff, but I'm too obsessive.
It's Not As If My Daily Schedule Was So Fantastic To Begin With
I use the unit system to manage my work days. (Also known as segmented time.) I work 45 minutes with a 15 minute break to trick my mind into thinking it's starting afresh when I go back to work. Also, there's always the possibility that I'll have a breakout experience regarding whatever I'm working on during those 15 minutes.
Well, here's the thing. With those unit system/segmented time plans you're supposed to use the fifteen minute breaks for things like going for walks, meditating, maybe some reading. I use mine to get started cleaning a bathroom. Get some food cooking. Mop a room. Bake a cake. Go to the store. I do a lot food prep things with my 15 minute breaks, because even before my laptop turned on me, I was on diets for what ailed me. To the point that I work near the kitchen instead of in the office so I'm never far from the stove.
In short, those 15-minute breaks have been stretching longer and longer, while the 45-minute work periods have been getting shorter and shorter.
The not-working-in-the-evening issue added to my personal vs. professional life boundary weakening has caused a bit of stress. Which I am looking at as a challenge.
I am trying a totally new workday, which I will write about in a few weeks when I've had a little more practice with it. It's shiny and new. Shiny, new things are exciting.
A Positive Coming Out Of All This
Now that I'm not working a couple of hours every evening, I seem to be sleeping better at night. Grab whatever gold rings you see coming your way.
Okay. Done with this. I'm going to go clean a toilet.
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