Last week I concluded that I waste a SIGNIFICANT amount of time on the internet. Well, vacation helped prevent that this last week. Dial-up internet on a computer in the girls' room meant that there was no "quick checking" of email, and certainly not during the hours that I had the least interruptions (ie. when the girls were sleeping). So I did a really good job of not wasting time on the internet. Then I came home and was drawn to the computer like a moth to a bug-zapper. It was truly a deadly compulsion.
I heard about a study recently that linked a smoker's environment to his/her urge to smoke. In other words, when they saw the places where they usually smoke, they suddenly needed to smoke. (I'll spare you the academic references...) This is me with internet-checking. I see the office/spare bedroom with the computer, and suddenly need to go in and log on. How to counteract this classical conditioning situation with a bit of behavior modification?
My first real job after college was teaching children with autism at a private school that provided an all-ABA*-all-the-time curriculum. So in theory, I have a bit of experience with behavior modification. But in reality, I learned the most about therapy from my fellow teachers (Hi Melissa!) and the parents of the children I worked with. One of these mothers, an energetic Polish lady, once told me, "You can't just take away a bad behavior, you have to replace it with a better behavior." Good advice for her son's hand-flapping then, and good advice for me now.
So my plan for intervention is to replace my computer time with housework. My house typically has tumbleweeds of dog fur growing and tumbling in every room (this is the downfall of hardwood floors). And dust. And clutter. And the list can go on and on... And why do I claim to have a dirty house? Because I don't have time to clean it. Well, wasting 90 minutes a day on the computer does leave me with little time to keep a hygienic environment. So let's see if we can do a bit of a switcheroo. And if I want to procrastinate from cleaning, I can just go play with the girls. Sounds like a win-win, either way.
So we'll see how this goes...
Ok, time to evaluate our food waste. Our dogsitter/housesitter never got my message about eating our food. So we had some throwing-out to do. The good news is that BestestHusband has an iron stomach and can eat food that I would have thrown out a week ago. And he did that today, which prevented some waste.
We did throw out:
- a mix of tomatoes and cheese that would have been good on pasta or bruschetta (too horrible to photograph)
- 2 cucumbers (they were shriveled and slimy)
- the bottom 1/3 of asparagus stalks from a whole bunch of asparagus (they were shriveling, but we ate the top 2/3 of the stalks tonight)
And I think that's about it. Not too bad. The real test will be next Sunday when I have to account for my time use. (Gulp.)
How was your week?
*Applied Behavioral Analysis