We are constantly looking for the easiest tricks to get the biggest impact. Some require us to build stuff, others - to adopt new habits. But every once in a while we come up with a simple and easy solution for life's toughest challenges. Such a solution I found about two months ago, when I stopped using a computer at home. My life has taken a huge turn for the better ever since.
I was surprised at how fast the effect was. In two days I started sleeping better, eating healthier, I became more productive during my working hours, I was more social and had significantly much more free time on my hands. I kept up with my choirs, read much more books and generally - felt much much better.
Long time ago, I figured that much of our time online is wasted on checking our social media, and the re-checking it every five minutes just to make sure we don't miss out on anything. But it comes with a huge price - lack of sleep, hours of wasted time, and becoming socially passive. I spent hours playing computer games, and surfing the web aimlessly, looking at cat videos or keeping up with the latest memes.
Because of my previous job I found it hard to simply disconnecting myself from social media, and shut down all of the information-clutter. So I have decided to take a bold step, and to disconnect myself from the use of a computer at home - I threw away my old desktop PC, started using only my laptop and religiously kept it inside the backpack whenever I got home.
Yes, it was very uncomfortable at first. As a student I found myself staying long hours in libraries and cafe's just to keep up with my reading. But I also found that during that time I was much more focused at work, felt more motivated to finish it and go home. Knowing I could not continue my work deep into the night, actually motivated me to work harder and spend less time procrastinating.
Whenever I was at home I finally found I had so much more free time than I previously thought - I had more time to eat healthier, keep my apartment tidy, keep up with old hobbies and go out with friends.
The biggest impact though was probably on my sleep hygiene. I realized how hard it was going to sleep when I had the computer in, when all of a sudden there was very little to keep me awake at 2-3 a.m.
I started using the computer at home again only recently, but I already feel the regrowing effects of sleep deprivation and reduction in productivity. When Sukkot (a week-long Jewish holiday) ends I definitely am going back to the strict no-computer-at-home policy. It may be hard to maintain but the benefits are well worth it.