Intentional Laptoping

By Nat Eliason in Happiness

Published or Updated on Jan 14, 2021

One habit I'm cultivating this year is "intentional laptoping."

Health, happiness, connection, community, the most important things in life do not happen behind a laptop.

What does happen behind a laptop? Work and distraction. Work is necessary. Distraction isn't. But when we enter our laptops, we're immediately pulled into a world of both, depending on our level of focus, boredom, and intentionality.

I've realized that unless I specify very clearly what I'm entering the laptop to do, I'll create unnecessary work for myself. I'll try new productivity apps I don't need. I'll respond to emails I could have ignored. I'll whittle away at projects that aren't at the top of my most-important-work list.

Or I'll get sucked into the news, entertainment, and other distractions.

The laptop is necessary for most of us to continue making a living, but it's not necessary to spend as much time in it as we think. So instead of mindless laptoping, I'm aspiring to more intentional laptoping.

What does that mean? First, it means keeping my list of things to do for the day offline in a notebook. I do that in the morning.

Then as I look through the list, I can see which things I need to open my laptop for. I open it, do that thing, then either move on to the next thing or close it.

I don't let myself get sucked into other distractions, and don't waste time on fauxductivity, social media, online communities, or other digital entertainment.

I just close it and get back offline.


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