The other week I wrote about my plans to spend less time in front of screens. So let’s talk about my progress on going more analog. Spoiler alert: the more I get into this, the easier it becomes.
Those of you who’ve been reading this page for a while know what I’m doing. It’s more than building a bubble against *gestures broadly at the world* the rest of 2020. I’m making plans to ride out the inevitable seasonal affective disorder that comes with living this far north. There won’t be much sun from around 1 November to about 1 February. I need routines the keep my busy and protect my mental health.
Free from trying to decide what book to read next, I’m reading more. There are two ground rules that I’ve set. The first is that I can’t be into more than two books at a time. One has to be fiction. The other will probably be a business book, a book of writing, or a biography, given my habits.
The second rule is that I will read every evening after dinner. Quiet music, a cup of tea, and a good book. I need to stop working all the time. I can have my journal with me to take notes. Going forward I want to blog more about novels I’m reading. Keeping notes on skills, tips, and even good quotes is useful.
The other day I went through my Netflix queue and deleted anything that wasn’t uplifting. That means that it’s pretty much just inspirational documentaries and stand-up comedy specials. No politics, no violence, no “gritty” dramas. I added a few things that I know cheer my up and are infinitely rewatchable. Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the Mister Rogers doc. Rilakkuma and Kaoru, the beautiful, slow-paced stop-motion masterpiece. The entire Miyazaki catalog which, yes, outside of the US is all on Netflix.
I’m setting a limit on how much I can watch per day. That’s the only way of going more analog, short of buying a Blu-ray player and a bunch of discs. It’s scheduled time, so I don’t fall into a binge-hole and have difficulty climbing out. These are the times when I miss broadcast television, when the show you like was on at a specific time, on a particular day. Streaming services can be as insidious as social networks in their efforts to keep you glued to a screen.
Blogging in Batches
Planning out blog posts in advance means I can write them in batches and schedule them. I don’t need to get online every day to fiddle with my websites. When people leave comments, I respond when I check my email, which is currently back to a once-per-day activity.
I Killed Twitter (Again)
I looked in on my business Twitter to see what bad takes people were having on my publishing niche at the moment. What I walked in on were people whose opinions I usually respect defending genocide. Yeah. Seriously. Both accounts are now deactivated. I need a break, It’s likely I will turn them back on just to syndicate blog content there.
I’ve also killed my business Instagram, which I never used effectively. At the moment I don’t have time to dedicate to that front. My personal account has been turned to private. All I use it for is to look at cute animals, art museums, and architecture. I’m not going to bother posting anything, at least for the time being.
I’m curating a “get me moving in the morning” playlist. Most of that is 60s and 70s R&B. Mornings are for jazz. In the afternoon things switch over to classical. After dinner, which has now been designated as reading time, I go back to some quiet jazz or world music. My kitchen sounds like a coffee shop crossed with an NPR station.
This is one area where going more analog is difficult. I don’t own any media like CDs, tapes, or records, and wouldn’t have anything to play them on if I did. Hell, I don’t even own a radio. I stream all music off of my computer. I am considering digging my old computer out of the closet and setting it up purely as a music server.
Killing Trees to Spite the Algorithm
My bullet journal will be where I track everything by 1 January 2021. I’m eliminating online tools in favor of a wall calendar. I’ve purchased a stack of small notebooks that fit in my pocket. Journaling reduces the number of things that I track electronically.
Ideally, I wont have to be online more than an hour per day to check on things and perform essential business tasks. That’s the real objective in going more analog. And paper is recyclable, so I really don’t feel all that bad about killing trees.
Progress on Going More Analog
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