Moving house recently has caused me to reassess many things about my life.
I thought a lot of the 'lost' time and my busy time centred around our old cluttered house and trying to maintain a semblance of order. But now that the move has happened and a lot of the clutter has gone, I still don't seem to have time.
This week I've looked more closely at how I really spend my time outside of work and the usual family routine stuff.
Our family life is pretty crazy busy with Mr Books and I both working full-time, with two teenagers and all their school, sport, work and social engagements, plus all the meetings, social gatherings and coffee/lunch/dinner gatherings with friends that we like to do. There are not many nights of the week when we're all home together.
But around all this real life stuff I've actually shocked myself by how much time I waste on my so-called smart phone and laptop.
I don't consider blogging or taking photos for Instagram a waste of time. They bring me a lot of pleasure and tap into some of my creative urges. But I do waste a lot of time trolling facebook and twitter and playing scrabble.
They take away from my reading time, my exercise time, my gardening time and my general pottering around the house time. This sucking up of my time on social media has taken away that lovely feeling of being at leisure at different times throughout the week that I used to enjoy.
How do I get this time back? How do I recreate some leisured, lazy time in my day to day life?
I know this problem affects a lot of people all around the world.
Jon Ronson is visiting Australia at the moment. Every time I turn on the radio this week he seems to be talking just for my ears about the social media shaming phenomenon. He uses the words 'unleashing', 'outrage' and 'torrent'. Words that make me feel overwhelmed. Words that also seem to describe my feelings about all this 'lost' social media time.
What to do?
Obviously I can play less scrabble games and less often.
But how do I monitor my SM time? How do I get the best from it but not allow it to take over?
For instance, I want to know that two days ago J.K.Rowling tweeted about James S. Potter starting at Hogwarts. Today we found out that he was sorted into Gryffindor. I want to know this stuff. The book geek in me loves this stuff.
I want to see the Bloggiesta post that pops up on my feed. I want to see memes like TBR Thursday as I scroll down. I want to know about book events like R.I.P X.
But I really dislike the sponsored pages and posts that clutter up my feeds. I don't want to shop on SM and I don't want to get my news and a current affairs from SM.
How do I not get sucked into all those Guardian and Conversation articles that get retweeted and shared? How do I avoid the tangential google searches....like the one that I just wasted ten minutes on as I searched for ideas about how to avoid time wasting online!
How do you manage your online time?
How do you avoid (or not) the internet time-suck?
Do you have any great tips for getting back the real life leisurely time?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.