Over the last week or so, I have been trying to be more like Ben Franklin. Everyday, I’ve been assessing how well I’ve done with few of the 13 virtues I previously mentioned in Benjamin Franklin’s guide to modern life. Unlike some of my friends, I don’t feel overwhelmed by technology or even stressed out from being around it all the time but I do spent way too much time browsing the web. Because of this, I sought to limit my random web browsing through the week through these specific virtues: temperance, resolution, industry, and moderation.
For temperance, I have done relatively well this week. I’ve defined temperance as not getting to the point where I don’t even want to look at a computer anymore or there isn’t anything I even want to read anymore. Didn’t get to that point once this week. Usually that’s something that does happen around Friday or Saturday.
Resolution was a mixed bag for me. I don’t think I met my goal, but I did have more resolution than I have been exhibiting lately. I’ve been starting more small projects and finishing more projects, but it’s still not where I want to be. Hopefully, I can get the rest of these unresolved projects done this week.
Industry has been a big failure every single day this week. I do have projects to be doing or at least could be doing more constructive things while using the Internet yet I find myself watching funny YouTube videos or ending up on a Wikipedia scavenger hunt. More industrial than I have been lately, but this is something I really need to continue working on.
I would consider myself successful at moderation about half of the last week. On a few days, I got in and got out of my recreational Internet usage and moved on to other things. Saturday was definitely my best day — I got online early in the day, checked my Twitter feed a couple times, cleaned and got done some work that I’ve been meaning to get done. Other days, I imbibed beyond my limit. After working at this for a whole week, I feel that moderation was kind of a cross of all these other virtues. It’s just a little bit of everything and because of this, it was tough to pass since I wasn’t particularly good at this exercise in the first place.
Overall, I want to keep on with this project. I really think it could pay dividends in the long run. I need more balance between work and play. Although I was a bit pessimistic on how successful I was overall, there were definitely improvements over the previous few weeks. I’ve been in a little bit of a slump the last couple weeks, but this exercise really got me moving up the hill and out of the ditch (it could just be the weather turning really nice, too). As I continue, I think I might try keeping track on paper or in an Excel file with a grade of some sort of how I did that day. So far, I’ve only been reflecting internally — maybe the reinforcement of actually writing it down somewhere would be the impetus I need to get all the way over the hill.