I’m still struggling with writing about the heavier topics on my mind. I’ve fallen back into a cycle of writing and deleting—however, there’s one difference this time around: I have the lighter series I introduced last post —A Nunnery! Here’s one of those important plain habits I promised: The Bookmarks Folder labelled “⚪ Check Daily”…
I’m not too keen about social media. I find the overwhelming majority of content dull, unpleasant, and unproductive. They’re pretty much “empty calories” for my mind. No, that’s not quite right—they feel like low-quality empty calories. (I’m talking about the empty calories that don’t offer enough short-term satisfaction to outweigh the inevitable regret…) Still, I admit that it’s useful and (surprisingly) valuable when used appropriately. What is appropriate for me? I’ve settled on five minutes/day—effectively the upper limit of my attention span. I’ve bookmarked those sites, labelled it “⚪ Check Daily”, and stored it visibly in my bookmarks toolbar. Here’s what that folder contains:
- My bank accounts
- Instagram accounts
- FB Messenger
- Google Calendar
- Discord (opened in desktop browser)
When I say accounts (above), I (usually) mean two separate accounts—one private, one public (i.e. my personal accounts, and my “justcallmeroybert” accounts). That might seem like a lot—it is. However, implementing this has improved my quality of life—so much that it has become part of my morning routine. It imparts a mild feeling of accomplishment—not much, but just enough to avoid thinking about social media throughout the rest of the day. It convinces me that I’ve made an honest effort to enough connect with humanity outside my comfort zone; it’s effectively a social chore… Since I’ve stored all this in one convenient, clearly marked bookmarks folder, it stands out from the rest of my bookmarks and bookmark folders. I just right-click, open in a new window, skim through each tab briefly—starting at the leftmost tab, and then either close it and move onto the next tab (on the right), or—if something catches my eye—I abruptly stop reading and move onto the next tab (without closing the interesting tab). Once I reach the rightmost tab in the window, I start back at the leftmost tab, and run through them again—except this time, I continue skimming until I feel that I’m no longer reading anything worth paying attention to. I repeat this until I’ve closed all tabs from that folder. Once I close a tab , I don’t touch it again until the next day during my next morning routine. The one exception is if a friend or close family member requires me to open it back up to like, subscribe, or comment on something that might help them out…
The five-minute limit ensures that I focus exclusively on those tabs; without that focus I can’t get through everything as thoroughly as I’d like, and I wind up wasting time. The five-minute time limit also eliminates any excuses to procrastinate; it’s just too short to justify not doing…
During the task, if my attention span wanders, I simply return to where I left off—but I never add more time; I stick to the five-minute limit. That limit also impels me to follow (or subscribe to) only things I (might seriously) care about. If I see any links I might find useful I open them in a separate tab, but I avoid reading those until I’ve closed all the tabs I’ve opened from the “⚪ Check Daily” folder. If I have any time after closing those tabs, I apply my process to the new tabs. If I run out of time before I finish skimming through each of those tabs, I bookmark them all in a folder, and save it under another bookmark folder labelled “Sort”. If I genuinely think something’s worth spending more time on, I store it under a different folder labelled “🔵 Ipr”…
Look, I’m not saying this solves my mood problem—the older I get, the less I think it is solvable. Still, the process is a net positive that requires so little effort that I can still move forward with something when I feel too shitty to focus, which unfortunately is most of the day—but that discussion’s best saved for one of my heavier posts… Anyway…
I hope this post was as simple and thoroughly boring as intended. I’ll try and post more of my heavier content next time—but I can’t sincerely promise you that. If I can’t, I still intend on moving onto another of my important, plain habits—I have more than you might expect… Thank you for reading; I hope to see you back next time!
Thank you for your time,
Roybert S. Henanigans
P.S. 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually. If there’s one thing I could ask for above all else, I’d ask for two—then I’d use one of those two to say that the best way to help is to share my work with someone.
On a serious note, thank you so much for reading—it truly means the world to me!