Reflections on my lunch break and how I wasted my time on Instagram

I didn’t plan to write this post, actually, I’m supposed to be writing my thesis right now, but you know when you have something in mind and you can’t just ignore it and go ahead.

I’ve never actually talked about it here, but my biggest goal is to finish my 150-pages thesis by the end of Summer in order to graduate next Fall, but, let me tell you, it’s hard. There are some days I’d just want to curl in my bed and cry because I’m frustrated by everything and, even if I’m an introvert, it isn’t nice staying all day long glued to my laptop at home, alone. One of my favourite things to do during my lunch break has always been playing some LOTRO and catch up with emails and blogs at my desk. However, I’d like to spend at least my lunch break away from my desk now that I don’t have to study anymore, but those activities can only be done on my laptop (I know I can check blogs on my phone, but it isn’t the same for me).

Today I forced myself to stay away from my desk, giving up to my daily dose of LOTRO, and I managed to read a couple of blog posts and watch some short videos on YouTube…in half an hour, then I didn’t know what to do with my time, it was 2:30 PM and I didn’t want to go back to my thesis yet, so I thought “I could check out Instagram for 10-15 minutes”.

I ended up emerging from my phone at 3:05 PM. I’ve spent 35 minutes on Instagram without realizing it and without even. Sure, having 2 different accounts takes away more time, but I didn’t even scroll my bookstagram feed for more than 5-6 photos usually, I still engage with people there, but the one where I try to stay up to date is my personal one and it takes a lot. Especially if you’re just a bit OCD and you have to see all the Stories (don’t worry, I still skip some of them!). In these 35 minutes, however, I didn’t even share a photo nor a Story and I felt exhausted and ready to take a nap, while in my previous 30 minutes I almost got bored and over-recharged.

As I said to a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, I love blogs because that’s a self-paced kind of feed. I scroll Feedly when I have some time, see what interests me, and I save it for later. You can’t do that with social media because they are a constant stream of updates. I follow less than 100 people on my personal Instagram profile, but still, it takes me ages to check out their updates. I don’t follow just for following, I follow who I actually care to see in my feed.

This post is a bit useless because I don’t have an actual solution to this, I don’t want to quit Instagram, but I don’t know how to avoid the overwhelm it causes me. Today I’ve lost 35 minutes of my life without even realizing it!

April Small Goals

Writes Like a Girl started this monthly post & has a monthly link up for it on her blog.

Here is a recap of my goals for the month.

1. Catch up with Harry Potter 2&3. Done! I managed to read both books just in time to follow the #harreadpotter schedule and now I’m ready for book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

2. Clean my laptop. Nope, I’m a bad laptop mom.

3. Finish and use my bookish spreadsheet. Kind of. I finished it and I was pretty pleased with the result, but I ended up not updating it (LOL!), I mostly used my journal for that. Not sure if I’ll catch up with it or not.

4. Get a Warsteed in LOTRO. Yes!! I managed to get a nice Warsteed for my little Hobbit, now I just have to finish the training session.

March has been a looong and tiring month, I’ve got some issues with my thesis and they totally put me down, so I’ve spent many days just complaining about myself without taking action. Something I’m not very proud to admit. I hope April is going to be a happier month for me.

April Goals

1. Clean my laptop. This needs to be done!

2. Finish chapter 1 of my thesis. I usually try to keep University stuff private because I don’t like to share too much online, but I really need to get things done this month!

3. Stop caring about my posting frequency on Instagram. This isn’t an actual goal, it’s more a sort of resolution. I started using Instagram a bit differently during the first quarter of the year and, while I’m totally okay with it, I still feel too guilty for not posting sometimes.

4. Be more aware of the apps I use. Call me Bilbo Baggins (the only one who actually reads a full contract), but I’ve recently read this article on how Facebook collects data and I basically freaked out. I already knew most of the stuff mentioned, but I wasn’t aware of all the things and it’s insane! While I can’t give up to Instagram and WhatsApp, I decided to be more mindful with the things I share online, even if I’ve never posted anything private, so I started deleting the Facebook page for my blog, clearing out my About section and leaving some groups I never participated in. Also, I started logging on Facebook from the anonymous tab of my browser no more than once a day, rather than having the password saved in Firefox.

I’m not planning to quit social media, but I’d like to reduce the amount of time spent using them. I’ve recently read so many articles by people who are quitting Facebook and Instagram and I saved so many inspiring quotes, one of them is the following one:

Maybe the fact that I use Facebook to share my blog posts is a tiny tiny reason why others are still using it. It’s like I’m still visiting friends in the smoking area, even though I don’t smoke. Maybe if I quit going entirely, it will help my friends quit, too.

I’ve snapped out of the silly fear that people won’t find me if I’m not there. If they care at all, they’ll find me.

Derek Sivers

 

These are my four little goals for this month, I’d love to hear from you! What are your goals for April?

March Small Goals

Writes Like a Girl started this monthly post & has a monthly link up for it on her blog.

Here is a recap of my goals for the month.

1. Keep a healthy relationship with Twitter. Done! I logged off even from the browser and I let email notifications tell me if there were any mentions or direct messages. If you’d like to know how I’m using social media these days, I’ve written a whole blog post about it here.

2. Reread Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I completely failed this one, but for a good reason. In fact, I’ve discovered the most beautiful fantasy trilogy ever (no, it isn’t LOTR) and I’ve binge read it in just a week.

3. More analog productivity. I managed to check my paper planner almost everyday, however, now that I don’t have classes anymore, I find it easier to put my events on Google Calendar and just use random notepads for tasks. Still analog, so it’s okay.

4. Buy a yoga mat. Nope, but things changed. I decided to not renew my gym subscription for this quarter for several reasons and so I tried the bigger fitness mat I used at the gym for my home yoga practice and it works better than the old one, still not perfect but I decided to save my money for now.

Articles Written in February

How to Spring Cleaning Your Journaling Supplies – I shared some tips on how to declutter and reorganize your stationery over Page Flutter.

March Goals

1. Catch up with Harry Potter 2&3. I’m hoping to be able to reread The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban this month.

2. Clean my laptop. I always take my laptop at a nice little techy shop to clean it with compressed air twice a year, the guys that work there are very kind and do an amazing job. However, I’m always so lazy that I kept postponing this task, but I want to complete it this month.

3. Finish and use my bookish spreadsheet. I tried multiple times to use Goodreads on a regular basis, but it’s frustrating to not be able to add the correct edition of the books I read most of the time because they are ebooks or in Italian, also I don’t like the rating system there. I’m using it only for reviews these days and I thought to just keep a running list of my readings on a notebook, but the truth is that my phone is always with me, not that notebook. I tried to use Trello, but I’m not completely happy with it so I decided to try a spreadsheet. Learning to properly use Excel is one of those things I keep postponing and I hate myself for that, but all the reading templates I’ve found are super complicated and full of stats I don’t care about so I’m currently DIYing my spreadsheet and I’m improvising a little bit due to my lack of knowledge. However, I’m pretty proud of it. LOL.

4. Get a Warsteed in LOTRO. This is totally random, I know! 😀 I’ve been so close to getting a Warsteed for my character, but the quest chain is very difficult and I keep dying so my goal is to level up and then try again in order to get that horse by the end of the month. #worstplayerever

 

These are my four little goals for this month, I’d love to hear from you! What are your goals for March?

I Miss Blogs Too

The other day, my friend Kristin shared her thoughts on how blogging has changed lately and how many bloggers we loved to follow decided to quit moving their content over Instagram or other social media. This made me reflect since I’ve been one of those who thought about quit blogging last year. I couldn’t see the benefits, I had lost my passion and I couldn’t find a way to get more engagement and still be myself.

Now I’m here, writing again and feeling grateful for keeping up with this space. I decided to stop planning and overthinking and scheduling and things like that and just BLOG. I blog when I have something to share and I try to keep this space alive using it to track stuff like my #TheUnreadShelfProject list and the guest posts I work on every month. And it feels good!

Kristin’s post made me realize that the reason why I started subscribing to productivity blogs was the lack of old-school blogs. And the reason why I tried to turn my blog into a professional portfolio was that’s what people expect from you nowadays.

When I tell people in real life that I run a blog, they always ask me: “A blog about what?” and that’s when I don’t know what to say. During my months of trial and errors, I fantasized about transforming this place in a book blog, a lifestyle blog, a productivity blog. Why my blog should be categorized? Why everybody suppose it’s about a single topic? This makes me realize how people are new to blogs, they think about the “modern” way of blogging that’s all about useful content around a single or a couple of topics, where you share content to get more followers.

And when I reply that my blog is about me and my life, they immediately lose interest, because that’s not cool to say. Having a personal blog doesn’t look cool. To look like an interesting girlboss, the answer should be: I’m a fashion blogger, I blog about lifestyle and products, or, the new COOL thing to say, I’m an influencer. I started blogging at that time when saying you were a blogger was like having a tattoo with the text WEIRDO of your forehead. People looked at you like you were a strange little creature, that’s why I basically told nobody about my past blogs. But if you’re not an author with a namesurname.com URL, then you should blog about something in order to make money to be a LEGIT blogger, according to people. Who cares about your thoughts, goals and opinions if you’re none of famous? Why keep a blog about that?

I will end my ramblings here because this is a topic I already touched in the past and I don’t want to repeat myself. Kristin’s post inspired me to dig deeper into my own thoughts on this whole blogging things and I wanted to share them here because I believe other bloggers are feeling the same way.

February Small Goals

Writes Like a Girl started this monthly post & has a monthly link up for it on her blog.

I can’t believe we’re one step closer to Spring (which means pollen allergy to me)! January has been a weird month for me because I mostly spent it at home sick or studying, I can’t wait to pass my last exam now. I’m so ready to go to the cinema, visit a museum or go for a shopping afternoon with my mom.

Here is a recap of my goals for the month.

1. Watch more movies and only 1 TV series at a time. Yes, I did it! I have to say that being sick for almost 2 weeks helped me a lot to achieve this goal (LOL). After watching season 3 of Grantchester, I watched all the three seasons of Broadchurch, which was the perfect show since each season had 8 episodes and it was already finished, so nothing more to wait for. Now I’m looking for a new TV series to start in February. Here is a list of the movies I watched (most of them have been a rewatch):

  • National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • Vacation (2015)
  • The Hangover
  • Alexander
  • Warcraft
  • Death on the Nile (1978)
  • Jurassic World
  • Cutthroat Island
  • Miss Congeniality
  • Practical Magic
  • Wonder Woman

Not too bad for a girl who used to watch one movie a month, if lucky, and all the rest was all TV series! I’m not going to track the movies I watch anymore, but I’ll keep trying to stick with this new habit.

2. Journal daily. Done! Both on the Journey app and my diary.

3. Reduce my time on Instagram. I managed to stick with my rule to not check Instagram before noon and some days I almost forgot it until 5 or 6 pm!

4. Wear more makeup. I didn’t actually achieve this goal because I spent so much time at home, technically it wasn’t my fault!

5. Visit more blogs and leave more comments. I did it, but I can improve this.

Articles Written in January

December Favorites – things I enjoyed during December, on the Travelling Geek Show blog.

Tips and Tricks to Start a Reading Journal in 2018 – I’m pretty proud of my monthly post for Page Flutters since I love journaling and books and all that in between. 🙂

App Review: PDF Converter – a nice collaboration I’ve been able to do. I thought about posting it here on the blog as well, but it was a review so I decided to publish it on Medium instead.

How to Keep an Accomplishment Journal and Feel More Productive with Journey – this month I also managed to guest post for my friend Francesco on his blog Keep Productive and I highly recommend you to check out this app, it’s free and actually improved my life!

February Goals

1. Keep a healthy relationship with Twitter. I’m planning to share how I’m using social media in 2018 in an upcoming blog post. However, I decided to go back tweeting but I’m done with scheduling and social media management apps, I only use TweetDeck from my laptop because it helps me to filter my feed. But I don’t have the app on my phone anymore.

2. Reread Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. February is for book 2 of the saga according to the #HarreadPotter schedule and I can’t wait to finish the book to rewatch the movie since it’s my favorite in the whole series!

3. More analog productivity. I decided to go back to a paper planner for 2018, I still keep my long-term plans on Trello and my events on Google Calendar, but I want to use my cute Molang diary more and I want to establish again the habit to check it first thing in the morning.

4. Buy a yoga mat. I’ve been practicing yoga since the end of Summer thanks to the amazing videos on the Yoga With Adriene channel and I’m LOVING it. Now that I finally understood what it feels good to me, I want to go ahead and invest some money in a mat because the one I use it is for fitness and I keep sliding, which is not good because it prevents me to assume the correct posture. By the way, any advice on a good and affordable yoga mat without?

 

These are my four little goals for this month, I’d love to hear from you! What are your goals for February?