For most of this trial my ongoing experiment over the week has been the Mind Wander project in increasing time duration. But for this final week I’m trying something different all week. On page 32 Tharp recommends taking a week off from a norm in your life to feed your creative health. It’s like a non food diet, and doesn’t need to last forever, just enough to get the taste of it. This has been one of the hardest challenges of this six week trial so far. Since I don’t have tons of routines, I decided to eliminate internet time. I quickly realized there are a number of time sensitive tasks I have that utilize the internet, so I immediately needed to revise. The revision I created was that I could only go on the internet with a specific purpose, get in, accomplish it and get out. Monday I failed horribly. I think I spent almost an hour to two hours of aimless time on the internet. After that I did pretty good, until Friday again when I was off task for probably about 30 mins. I like the idea though. It seems good to have days or times when you just write your list of things to accomplish on the net and then get back to physical reality. This is definitely not anything I could do forever. There’s so much good stuff out there on the internet that is good community building and inspiring that I think I would be missing out.
You could take this exercise in a lot of directions though. Tharp mentions some examples of a week without a watch, mirrors or newspaper. All could have very different effects on your reality.
After a week of doing this I think the biggest reward was having more focus and intention with my internet time. Even when I slipped off track I was more cognizant of what I was doing, because I was self regulating. Awareness seems to go a long way in terms of helping to curb unwanted behavior, but self-discipline is the big bouncer you need in your club to help awareness weave a path through the crowd. Without discipline I think awareness could just make you feel bad about yourself. It did that some for me, but because I did follow through on my commitment often, it wasn’t horrible. And who knows for some people becoming aware that they don’t like their own behavior and feeling bad about it, might just be the kick in the pants they need to make a change. Everyone is different.