The 6 O'Clock Challenge: Recap!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Last week I attempted the 6 O'Clock Challenge, with a goal of leaving the office and getting offline at or before 6 p.m. every day for a week. How did I do? Not so well. Now it's suddenly really apparent why I'm crazy. Here's the summary...

I unplugged my laptop at 6:00 p.m. on the dot and left the office when the sun was still shining, which in itself was kind of an accomplishment. 15 minutes later, I arrived home...and snuck a peek at my Blackberry. I couldn't help it. There were a couple emails that had come through but nothing urgent. Fast forward to 8:00 when I realized there were three bananas rotting to crap on my kitchen counter--perfect banana bread situation right thurr. Unfortunately my banana bread recipe is ONLINE. What to do? I fretted a bunch, and then Peter told me it wasn't cheating if I went online just to get the recipe and didn't look at anything work related. (Obviously, someone was craving my b-bread.) I fired up the laptop and went straight to Google, found the recipe, and didn't look at anything else. Checked the Crackberry before bed.

Tuesday was easy because we had appointments to view two houses at 7:00. I left the office right at 6:00 and stayed busy all evening, with only a couple sneaky peeks at the Blackberry. I was beginning to think this challenge would be a breeze.

I left at 6:00 again, but was stressed about it. I may or may not have sent an email via Blackberry, but overall I stayed offline all evening. Still good...

I'm pretty sure that if I played Thursday backwards I'd hear Satan's voice telling me I'm bound for hell. Thursday was just batshit crazy and I spent most of the evening working...from...home. Online. There may have been crying as well.

Sorry, IT guy, my macbook needs to be replaced because the salt from my tears and the blood from my overworked fingertips have seeped in under the keys and disintegrated the motherboard. There could be some Ativan that got dropped in there too.

I left at 5:40!!!! FIVE FRIGGING FORTY!!

This challenge was awesome because having a hard-and-fast deadline at the end of the day motivated me to get stuff done and get things in order for the following day well in advance. It put an end to "I'm just going to do ONE more thing" syndrome. It was also eye opening to find out that if I don't respond to a 9:00pm email until 8:00am the next day, the world actually continues rotating on its axis. It was a neat experiment and something I'm going to try to follow more regularly.

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  1. Love this! I always tell myself I'm gonna shut my laptop down and just forget about the internet. And then I'm back on "just to check something quick" 20-minutes later. It's harder than it sounds, haha!

  2. You should try it!! It was definitely an eye-opener to find out a) how much time I actually DO spend online and b) how much better I feel unplugging for a few hours. It's great to be disconnected.

  3. You are SO funny. I used to have this week.

    I like your blog. Can I come back sometimes?