This post is born from frustration. From anger and annoyance. Of procrastination and bad self talk. What happened? I will tell you. But more important is what it made me realize: that I need some mindset shift – developing digital household chores is what I will call them.
Frustration with digital devices
weeks months my laptop kindly reminds me that I should be updating my laptops operating system. I am usually really good in pushing that button a few days after a new release was made. Not right after because – lets wait three days to see if it runs smoothly – but then. Always. Well almost always. The last time I wanted to do just that I was told one of my programs would not be functioning under new system. So I postponed. And I forgot.
Weeks later I tried to update again but was continuously having trouble downloading the software. Again I postponed. Until one weekend I asked the husband to help. After a few hours on the couch even he was a bit helpless and said I would need to kill the entire laptop and do a fresh start. Or I could wait for the next release and just skip this one as it is so much trouble. I opted for the “easier” version to wait it out.
Skip forward another few weeks and my laptop told me to update a certain program if I decided to work on it in file share mode. When hitting that button – well of course it asked me to first upgrade my operating system.
To make a long story short I spent all of last weekend trying to just that. Including chat support by apple, a crying me waking up the husband on Sunday and many hours of trying to save data from the program that made me postpone the whole mess in the first place and paying some $ to get it running again.
Please tell me I am not alone when it comes to procrastinating because of feeling overwhelmed.
A mindset shift
So while I was crying and wallowing about all this wasted time I once again swore I will do those things right away next time. Not wait so long until it is a hassle to fix. But while the thought was fading out I knew I won’t be doing it.
It’s my coping strategy of sorts. If I don’t know how to do something – wait until it’s fixed. Or if a solution presents itself. Trying to read up or catch up rarely helps as I will feel so stupid of all the things I do not know. Another big aspect is the fact that I couldn’t care less about those things. I just want my devices to work – just like I want a car to run. I don’t want to spend time on those things.
Enter MIND SHITF!
What if – in our digital world – we need to see the devices as a part of our household chores.
Imagine not cleaning up the bathroom because you can’t find the right rag? Or you ran out of cleaner? You wouldn’t leave it like it was for weeks and weeks to come. We try to keep a decent home. Some weeks it might be just the bare minimum and on other we do a deep clean. We bring our car to the annual service check and every so often we give it a wash.
Our devices are so ingrained in our lifestyle that we are not able to live without them. I need my laptop for work. I spend every day in front of it – 8h plus. It is definitely more time I spend in a bathroom a day. But still I neglect to take care of it. Even the bare minimum.
Of course it does take time to look after things, keep them in shape and fix brocken stuff. Most often they do not spark any joy. They are annoying and yes – at least for me – often times overwhelming. But here is the secret – if doing it regularly its so much easier. Just like keeping the bathroom clean.
Developing digital household chores
So how can I improve the cleanliness of my laptop or any other device for that matter. I guess the first is to acknowledge that those things can not be ignored. They will not go away and unless I am willing to pay someone for it. I am not.
Making a list is something to help me streamline any process.
So here we go – my action plan for developing digital household chores:
- Don’t postpone software updates – do them within the first week of release
- Don’t skip alert windows – actually read them maybe it’s not even bad
- Run a repair program on a regular basis – maybe Friday night before heading into the weekend
- Don’t keep old programs that don’t run smoothly anymore – either delete or find alternativ
- Spend some time to understand the software/program – it will pay of in the long run and even if only knowing what to google
- Regularly clean out that trash bin – I do that multiply times a day
I am sure this list could be a bit more hands-on – maybe a checklist even. Not feeling like putting too much on my plate as of now. Gotto ease into this new chore things.
Now since I am a novice in digital household chores I’d love to hear about your approach. Do you have a set-up routine? Have thought about this yourself? Or did a lightbulb just went off.
Oh, this is great. There’s definitely a ton of digital chores that often fall to the wayside and then require much more time and effort later on. One thing I would add is regularly backing up your phone/hard drive. I am always afraid of losing data (probably because I have to backup religiously at work!)
Yes back-up is so important. I have an automation system set up that backs up my laptop every hour. However all my photos I have to do manually and that needs reminders. Thinking on it I do not think my phone is backed up.