In the interest of increasing productivity (not because I am dying to work 100% of my time in the office, but because I just needed to cut the clutter a bit) I had imposed a restriction on my browser time during work hours. Which is to say, I don’t begin my work day staring at my gmail inbox (I stare at it a little later, for a short span of time, after which I shut it down as opposed to minimize and constantly refreshing), I don’t check out Pinterest between tasks, I don’t compulsively refresh my comments dashboard every ten minutes, I don’t let my Reader lure me into the dark and never-ending abyss that is the Internet and, I cut out all bloghopping and relegate it to the end-of-day. I only open my browser once to check my email for a short while, and if my work specifically called for reading/browsing. And I managed this for over a month, quite successfully, thankyouverymuch!
Did it increase my productivity by leaps and bounds? Not much. But that is probably because on most days I am slow in general and take just that long to get my work done. If I want to get better and faster, I probably need to look at other ways to do that. But did it cut the clutter? Most definitely. I don’t find myself hysterically command+tab+ing my way through a gazillion windows anymore. Even if I’m working slowly, plodding on, I do so knowing there is nothing else that is demanding my attention or teasing me from the corner of my laptop, begging to be looked at right now.
But I digress. The point of this long and winding explanation was to say that the best part of the inordinately long hours I used to spend trawling the internet, was all the reading I would get to do. Interesting links, engaging discussions, refreshing new blogs, happy music, scrumptious food, news, issues, moods and eccentricities. And I would take it all in like a hungry horse. All of that has been significantly cut down. It has its advantages. And its disadvantages. Because when I decide to catch up, it feels like the flood gates have been opened and I cannot do everything that comes my way justice. Often just skimming over things, or browsing through, was beginning to leave me feeling..how do I put this..? Well, just unsatisfied.
So I broke the rule just a bit last week. Work was light, and I felt like I needed an upper. These smart girls I read; Sig and Ramya have this Weekend Reading tag going, that is awesome. And has brought some delightful stuff from the recesses of the internet right before my eyes. So I thought I’d share with you guys three things that I found this week, that were most thought provoking and relevant to my life. Chances are, you might find this relevant too.
First, this absolutely fantastic piece of writing, about Girls (this awesome new show that I have now started following after reading this article) and what the author calls the Hot Mess, which is the quintessential Existential Angst that plagues us 20-somethings. Nothing has hit home harder than this piece has, in a long while now. Reading it was like ripping a newly healed scab off a wound, except in a way that was brilliantly liberating. If you’re stuck in that spot in your 20s wondering where your life is going, not knowing what you need to do to get it together and move on, this one is for you. Not to say that I’m as messed up as some of the graphic descriptions in the article, but the general idea of being trapped in situations I let control me, rather than take control of, the feeling of wanting to do something and yet not doing it all myself, being traumatised about money and savings and the like — that’s something we have all struggled with at some time or the other. And that’s the Girl in you who will love this piece.
Then there was this superbly accurate, pithy list that I have read before, but came across once again in Ramya’s list. And having crossed over the quarter century mark, inching closer to the 3-0, there’s almost nothing in this list that I haven’t already experienced myself, that I don’t agree with or believe has happened to me already. Yes, my metabolism has slowed down a whole lot. Yes, I have seen myself undergo so many personal and professional changes, in a way that has shaped who I am. Yes, I’ve lost friends. Yes, I’ve made some new ones. Yes, I’ve painfully noticed that my parents too are getting older. Yes, doing drugs is fun until it sometimes makes me feel wrecked and shitty. And YES, going without sex for too long is a bad idea.
And then there was this rather shocking surprise in our very own Times Of India. I can’t remember the last time I even looked into this newspaper (online, or otherwise), but when a cousin sent me this link with a “must read” subject line, I knew it was going to surprise me. For someone who has spoken about the sudden surge in rage in my life, on more than one occasion (password: shadythoughts), this one really made me stop and think. Are we really turning into an angry generation? And if this is turning into a pan-nation emotion, when are we going to start keeping a check on it?