Monday, October 25, 2010

An Internet / Computer Semi-Fast

I've a little bit had it with myself.  I'll be upfront and honest, the biggest thing I've been feeling conviction for lately is the way in which I choose to spend my time.  It's a huge pet peeve of mine now to be a good steward of money and responsible with our finances, but God's been really speaking to my heart about being a good steward of my time as well.  I'm watching Bryton grow up before my eyes, and I don't want to look back and think, "I was couponing when we could have been playing ball... I missed it."  Does that mean I'm giving up couponing?  Heck no!  Are you kidding?  It is my job.  It is how I contribute to our 'income.'  What it does mean is that in an effort to better prioritize my time, I'm making myself go on a internet / computer semi-fast. 
Here's the deal:  I spend most of the day off and on searching deals, checking blogs, looking through coupons online, etc.  Sure, I find time to do stuff around the house and to play with Bryton, but I don't want to have to 'find time', to do those things anymore, and like my miscellaneous budget and my grocery budget (the two places we have to 'take money' from in order to pay the other bills), the place that I have to take time from (which is also a limited resource), is my time spent on the computer. 
Of course, I can't completely, nor do I feel like I should, give up the computer all together.  No, my hobby (saving money), and our finances count on the work I do online.  (And, yes, I consider it work.)  There are basically two things I do on the computer:
  • Things I need to do:  Couponing, bargain hunting, swagbucks searching / winning, contacts, bill payment, picture / video work and editing, youth stuff and blogging.  I'm including blogging because I'd love for it to be a source of income for us someday.  
  • Things I want to do:  Check up on facebook, blog (because I love it too), research different things, and keep in touch on my 'bump board.' 
So I've come up with a plan to try - it's experimental so we'll see how successful it is for me.  It's up for the tweaking.  Rather than spend all morning every morning sitting at the computer and then coming back to it over and over and over again, I'm limiting myself to one hour between the hours Bryton gets out of bed (8:00 a.m. is a good estimate right now) and the time Bryton goes down for his nap (about 1:00 p.m.).  I can split that hour up however I want, so that I can check 'deals' at least twice in that time period (some don't last long).  This morning, I did a lot of things before I let myself get on the computer, then I spent a half an hour from about 9:15 - 9:45, then I came back and checked it all just after 11. 
During Bryton's naptime life is fair game.  I call this my 'Alicia time'.  Alicia time is pretty safe for me because if I have 3,000 things on my to-do list, I'll use my Alicia time to get them done and stop stressing about them.  But if I want to be on the internet the entire time Bryton's napping, so be it.  The same if I want to watch a movie, eat something I wouldn't normally let Bryton have, or work on a project, anything is fair game.  Naptime has been iffy lately, it's normally at least  two hours (normally), but could last as long as three.  Rest assured, it's rare I can spend an entire 3 hours online straight... but if I want to, hey, it's Alicia time.
Then from the time Bryton gets up (anywhere around 3 or 4) to the time I go to bed (yes, me, I'll explain in a minute), I'm giving myself an hour.  Again, I can break it up as I so choose.  I debated about this one, because if Bryton gets up at 3 and I don't go to bed until 10:30 or so, that's 7 1/2 hours I have that I could check swagbucks, deals, etc. I fiddled with the idea of giving myself an hour and a half, but chose not to do that just yet.  Here is why:  I've discovered that when Aaron is home and Bryton is up, I don't have near the desire to get on and check things.  I enjoy watching them play and spending family time together.  So, typically when I get on the computer, it's around 9 after we've got Bryton taken care of and put down.  So my time spent on the computer then is time not spent with my husband.  Giving myself an hour and a half would be the entire time from Bryton going to bed to me going to bed.  SO - what I'm going to do is allow myself any spare 'morning time' that I may have left over from that day and use it in the evening, but that time has to be used before Bryton goes to bed. 
Whether or not I really even need an hour in the evenings is debatable.  I like to check all of the deals again, update myself on facebook (when the students are usually on), and recheck my email to have it cleaned out for the next day (couponers get a loooot of email). 
So, again, this is an experiment.  We're going to see if it works, see if it allows me more time with Bryton and more time to feel like I'm accomplishing things at home. 
Just today I've finished (so far) 3 loads of laundry (and hopefully 3 more to go), ran to WalMart for a few things (that I couldn't buy at Kroger), planned our week / weekend (which is abnormally busy), and made one heck of a list of things that could keep me veeeerrry busy over the next couple weeks...
I'll keep you posted on how it goes! 

1 comment:

  1. i look forward to hearing how it goes! i spend WAY too much time wasting time online while justin does homework, and i really need to limit can be my role model. ;) hehehe.