I read this article on the 99-Percent website some time ago, titled A Master Plan for Taking Back Your Life. I think I bookmarked it to use with the class I was teaching at the time which included a book on what the internet is doing to our brains.
The article notes that every act that chips away at our willpower diminishes our ability to resist temptation and focus our energies. There are multiple decision points in the act of reading on the web, each with their benefits and their accompanying Lernean Hydra-like links, dooming me to a distracted exhaustion.
Just as Charlie, my nephew's daughter, won't leap about the kitchen for endless hours, according to the article, we, too, should think about chunking our time into 90-minute intervals, taking a rest in between. I find that if I slither onto the web in the morning, sucked into by email, then the New York Times headlines, then blog reading, I look up and it's nearly lunchtime, and my day has gone an entirely different direction. When my children were at home, the day was compartmentalized by school schedules, their activities, and church meetings. Since they've left home, my day has been defined by my tasks, rather than me thinking about how I want to structure it. The digital interaction that seems now imperative needs to be factored in, rather than ignored. This 90-minute idea could be a good habit to grab; new habits for our new digital world.