No Computer Day

Cat is sitting on top of a laptop.
Credit: Flickr / Kae Yen Wong

I don’t think any credible writing about time management can start without acknowledging certain things. I am single, have no other responsibilities, work mostly remotely. and live typically either in a hotel or in an apartment with a weekly cleaning service, in a central part of town.

What is “No Computer Day?” It’s a day a week away from the computer, not working.

Why?

First two are practical. The third less so, but all the more important for it.

  1. Like a lot of tech workers, I spend a lot of time on the computer and experience wrist pain. I’ve found the most effective way to manage it is 1 day a week away from the computer and swimming ~3 times a week.
  2. Tech workers are weird in that we almost always have a working computer close at hand. This is not the case for everyone. A day a week mobile-only builds empathy. This used to be much harder, but things have got much better.
  3. It’s so easy to always be “working” but actually we often see things most clearly when we take a step back from them. It feels like every week I relearn how to disconnect. But often this is the day when I connect two things, or have some insight, that sets me up for success the following week.

When?

I like Saturday. It encourages me to finish things on Friday, and I find that sometimes I have a slower start day after “no computer day” and I don’t want that to be Monday! The first rule of “no computer day” is “no computer”, but the second is “go out and do something”. Recent things have been: an art gallery, the spa, the botanical gardens.

I’ve been building the habit of exploring the city I live in for a while. It’s all the more important when the reason to live there is work. For this reason sometimes “no computer day” is the most emotionally challenging day of the week, where I don’t distract myself with work, but try and embrace my temporary home and however it makes me feel.

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