“Go do something worthwhile,” my mother would often say to me. As a kid, I struggled with this concept. Without cleaning up chores, what really is ‘something worthwhile’ for an eight-year-old? Often I would go read, or once I learned a booklet by heart since I didn’t know what else to do.
Nowadays, it seems I have the opposite problem. I have a thousand things I can do, but instead, I often do, well, nothing. I spend my time reading social media, watching television or playing videogames. And what’s worse, it actually bothers me a lot. So what is going on? What bad habits are negatively at play in my life? And do I have a plan to fix it?
I’m not a big fan of social media, yet I lose a lot of time. I have a personal Facebook account somewhere that I check every couple of months for updates on family and friends from a previous life. That’s not my problem. My Facebook account for Liz BlackX is mostly dead. So what is bothering me?
Twitter and Reddit.
I like Reddit because it gives me new updates every time I load the app. It’s perfect to kill a little time.
I read Twitter supposedly for my Liz Black work, but that’s not the full story. It’s highly addictive. Next to reading my friend’s updates, I also read the stories from people around the world. The worst is when I check to see what’s trending in my country and lose hours upon hours on reading these updates.
Instead of checking these apps, I should open my Books app, on the same phone, and continue reading a book. Before the smartphone, I would often have a magazine or book close by and read that to kill time. When I do this, I notice how much calmer I get overall.
Just good enough is good enough. Unfortunately, this is part of Dutch culture nowadays. When in school, people talk about the ‘zesjescultuur,’ the culture of sixes. Here, schoolwork is graded from 1 to 10 with a six being just enough to pass the exam. Students aim for this six, because ‘since it’s good enough, why would you work harder?’
When in high school, I wasn’t like this. Looking at how I now run my business, it feels the same way. Updating my blog with two posts a week seems to be enough, so why work harder?
It’s a work ethic I hate about myself, but it seems impossible to change. Sometimes I do manage more work, but it’ll only last for a week, or shorter. And then I return to the ‘ah well, just enough is good enough.’
My gaming and the connected sleeping habits are influential on this subject. At the moment I game every day, playing Lord of the Rings Online. Usually, my husband and I play every night after our walk in the evening, roughly from 10 PM till 1 or 2 AM. We play with friends from around the world, so this is a convenient time slot for all of us.
If I could go to bed at 1 AM, this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But before I get to sleep, I need some downtime from playing the videogame. So my actual bedtime is usually a lot later, which means I have trouble getting up the next morning. Which in turn means I won’t start working until 12 PM. But since I don’t have many fun activities in my life, I don’t want to do any less gaming. I still haven’t found a solution for this.
There are several areas of my life affected by my bad habits. I read too much social media, which wastes my time. My overall work ethic isn’t geared towards working hard. My gaming habits also lead me to waste too much time, especially during other parts of my day. So am I going to make improvements in 2021?
I’m already reading less Twitter and almost no Reddit at the moment. So if you tag me in something and I’m not responding, that’s why. I’ve not yet solved the other two issues I’ve raised. It’s hard to change an entire work ethic. And I’m convinced I need the time playing videogames. I have few fun outlets in my life.
So I guess I’ll go on as I did. I am aware of my bad habits, and I’ll try to make adjustments as I go along. But I’m not going to say I’m going to do things entirely different cause I know I wouldn’t be able to keep it up in the long run. I only hope the small changes will make me a little more satisfied with myself. Who knows…