Friday, 20 March 2015

Attack of the Time Vampires

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook!  I haven't been crafting as much recently as I would like and I've been trying to work out why that should be. I've come to the conclusion that it's down to an attack of the Time Vamps! What are Time Vamps? Time Vamps are those things you do when you think oh I've got a spare five minutes I think I'll go.... (FILL IN THE BLANK) and you suddenly realise it's now dark outside, the cat/kids/husband are about to eat each other and your bum's gone numb because you haven't moved in 3 hours. As I'm typing this I have two tabs open at the top of the page, my email account and Facebook and if you are anything like me these two are probably the two biggest time vamps that are guzzling up your precious time.I don't know about you, but I'm OBSESSED with checking my email and Facebook accounts. I can spend hours on Facebook checking on the groups I follow and reading every single little update on my friends and family's timelines. It's one of the reasons I've avoided joining for so many years, in a way I'm quite lucky because I have to make a conscious effort to get onto Facebook and my email accounts (and Twitter, Pintrest and even this blog!) because I don't have a tablet, smartphone or whatever gadgets most people use. Facebook has even spawned little time vamps - online games and quizzes. My sister keeps inviting me to play them but I know if I do I'll never come off Facebook, I practically needed to go into rehab over computer Solitaire (luckily Chris's PC doesn't have any games stored apart from Football Manager and I'd have to be extremely bored to play that!)

If you too are under attack from Time Vamps, don't panic there are ways to deal with them without having to forsake Facebook or the internet. The first thing I've found valuable is to work out what's important to me (goals, spending time with my husband etc, etc) one of the things I value most is the Bible Study I do every day, I haven't really mentioned my faith on this blog but it's something I find a great deal of comfort in and spending 15 minutes reading a set Bible study sets me up for the rest of the day.  I know that if I do other things first (apart from the usual just woken up activities - like COFFEE!!!) I'll put it off and end up forgetting about it so once I've made a cup of black coffee I settle somewhere quiet and read my Bible. So my first tip for slaying those pesky Time Vamps is to do what's the most important thing for you first if that's workable. Obviously if your personal goal is to spend some romantic time with your partner it isn't really something you should concentrate on first thing in the morning - unless of course your one of those revoltingly cheerful morning people - but instead of automatically reaching for your iPad or phone the minute you're fully awake go and do something a bit more meaningful like getting back into bed to give your other half a cuddle or whatever. I'm not a complete Luddite and I realise that keeping in touch in the viral world is part of life, but I'm suggesting that it shouldn't become the whole of your life. My second suggestion involves one of those gadgets everyone is so fond of - your mobile! Most phones have a timer function (I actually had one without and I hated it!) and a stopwatch, I would suggest that the next time you're online just killing time you stop a moment to set your stopwatch going - you may well be shocked at how much time you actually spend online. This brings me to the second part of my suggestion, if you're as shocked to realise how much time you've wasted as I was the first time I used my stopwatch, start using the timer function on your phone to limit your online surfing. If I know I have something I really need to be doing instead then I set my timer to go off in 20 minutes and as much as possible I stick to it (I say my goodbyes first of course!) then I go do something a bit more important even if it's just the washing up - it may be a chore but not doing it has consequences (no clean cups!). If I'm honest I use this principal to tackle the housework, I have a lot of lower back pain and find that 20 minutes of standing/cleaning is about my limit so I clean for 20 minutes then go read some of my book for 20 minutes. I'm always amazed about how much cleaning I can get done in such a short length of time. I think one of the reasons we're susceptible to Time Vamps is we underestimate how much time we spend on pleasurable activities (Facebook, reading, crafting) and over estimate how long an unpleasant activity will take. Doing both pleasant and unpleasant activities in 20 minute bouts means you manage to get both things done and if you don't finish them in the first 20 minutes after the switch you can carry on for another 20 minutes until the task is completed. None of what I'm writing is new of course, Time Vamps is just another name for PROCRASTINATION and there are hundreds of self help books out there but I've hope I've given you a few ideas and the next time you reach for your phone it'll be to activate your timer and not to go on Facebook ;).

I hope you've enjoyed my penny's worth of advice - if you love or indeed hate this post please leave a comment in the usual places so I'll know whether similar posts will be appreciated or if this should be the last one! Until the next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

P.S. this post does not in any way mean I dislike Facebook or any similar means of social media - I love 'em!

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Sarah xxx