This semester I have had a lot of down time. In previous semesters I have always worked a ton, was in class 4-5 days a week, and overcommitted myself. Honestly, a hectic and crazy life is when I thrive the most! This semester, because it was the start of the big scary nursing program, I cut waaaaaay back. I'm still somehow finding myself working between 20-30 (and sometime 50+ and sometimes 0) hours a week between my regular job and all the families I nanny for, but it's work I enjoy so it doesn't seem like work. (Barf. Anyways.) On top of that, I only have classes two days a week, one four hour day and one ten hour day. I also have been purposefully not committing to a lot of things, trying to keep my stress level down. And honestly, my stress level HAS been way down! But I also find myself getting bored.
Between being prescribed a way too high dose of hyperthyroid meds that sent me into being hypothyroid and thus EXHAUSTED all the time, and not actually needing to do anything at a specific time, the past few weeks (dare I say months?) I have been getting sucked into the internet and Netflix. And once I fall down that dark whole it's sooooo hard to crawl out of it!
Structure is extremely important for me to be functional, as is having a purpose. So to have five days free every week (theoretically) makes me feel like I have no purpose. Of course I could be studying, but honestly how much studying can one do? And it is so easy to get caught in the trap of, 'Oh, I'll just study later, after this. Actually, it can just wait until tomorrow since I have nothing else to do then!' When I am busy I feel the time crunch and know I have to do something right then, because I will have no time later. So at the moment I am stuck in the perpetual, 'I'll have time later!' thought process.
Somehow this whole situation has not affected my schoolwork, thankfully, but it just makes me feel like a giant turd. I do have things to get done around the house, projects that need finishing, laundry to be cleaned, but have been so unmotivated to do it. So to remedy that, I'm trying to create a schedule for myself. It is waaaaay past due considering this semester is over halfway over, but whatever. Here are some ideas I've proposed to myself:
Limit laptop use that is not related to homework to 30 minutes per day. I will happily sit on my couch with my laptop and waste the day away, but chances are I would never do that at my desktop because the chair is not that comfortable. I can, however, do homework on it, because again, I'm not very likely to sit at the desktop for a long period of time.
Only check Facebook twice a day with a maximum of 15 minutes total. It is sooooo easy to get caught up with Facebook and every time I check it I'm always thinking, 'WHY AM I DOING THIS?! I don't care about 90% of the shit I just read!' I've already had it deleted from my phone for a while, so now I'm going to wean myself away bit by bit.
Only check Instagram twice a day with a maximum of 10 minutes total. I feel like I should also limit how many times I post a picture? I usually limit myself to one a day, though, so I don't think it'll be a problem. Anyways, it's such a handy thing to entertain myself with pretty much anytime I don't have something to do for longer then 0.5 seconds (think in line at the grocery store, while waiting for a meeting, before class, during breaks, etc) and it's not something I need to be doing.
No TV during the day from Monday-Thursday. Vince and I wind down together with the TV at night, but I have no reason to watch it during the day. Vince is at work those days so I can use this time to do homework, go to class, clean, craft, read, work out, cook, etc. Hopefully this means I can get most of my schoolwork done during the week so that weekends are free. (Though I still have to work.)
No electronic on Saturdays. I talked to Vince about this and though it took convincing, he is on board with me! I think this will be extremely beneficial to us because as with all electronics, it's so easy to always be on our phones, or watching TV 'together' or surfing the internet. So to have a whole day to reconnect every week will be great, and with summer coming it'll be a perfect day to plan day trips and be outside. Granted, we are already outside a lot anyways, but now Vince won't have to be annoyed with, 'Hold on, I want to take a picture of this!'
Do not work on homework when Vince is home. There are so many nights where I'm in another room getting a quiz finished late into the evening after Vince is home from work, when I'd rather be spending time making dinner with him. I have no excuse for not getting it done earlier in the day.
I'm hoping that by instilling these 'rules' for myself I'll be able to find some inspiration within my days to do useful things around the house. I guess now that I type everything up it's not really a schedule for my day, but in a way it is because it will force me to actually do stuff during the day instead of sit on the computer or watch streaming shows. I'm going to make up a little sign to tape on my TV/laptop and I'll let you know how it works!