Is Consistency a Hobgoblin or a Return to Sanity?

Starting the New Year, my inclination is always to think “out with the old, in with the new.”  I love variety and new experiences, so retreading already trodden ground is not exciting to me.   Then I remind myself that I need to evaluate and see what routines should remain, and what should remain as tried and true processes and procedures.

In the past, I’ve moved quite a few times.  Each time I’m in a new city and a new living space or business office, I realize that the routines that I followed in my former circumstances won’t work.  I have to figure out what time to get up so that I can eat breakfast, get ready for work, experiment with different times to leave the house to avoid traffic or find the right bus transfers that get me to the office on time.

Routine in this case is good.  If we have our set routines, we don’t have to think about processes, which frees our minds to concentrate on areas that require innovation and creative solutions.

When I think back to my mother’s generation, I remember examples of how housewives wrangled kids, made three meals a day and still had time for hobbies and interests of their own.  Monday was always Laundry Day, Tuesday was Ironing Day, Thursday the meal was always pork chops, etc.  When the agenda was rote, my mother could take painting classes, make last-minute cupcakes for school celebrations and deal with the real emergencies that life threw her way.

Coming back to the 21st century, this is why I, and many others, succumb to the black hole of the internet–there is no routine to curb our time and harness productivity.  When I log on and follow a thread or continue from link to link to link of useful information, I forget about my priorities and indulge myself in discovering fascinating information.

Last week, one of those links led me to a blogpost entitled: “How to Use the Web Without Losing Your Time or Mind.”  Speckyboy spoke to my lack of web routine in point #3:   “If you don’t need it at the moment, don’t bother reading or bookmarking (websites).” 

While I will miss all those bits of trivia that are there on the web for the taking, I’m going to try and adhere to this rule and see what happens.  And before anyone mentions Emerson’s oft-quoted remark: “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” I’ll point out that this isn’t the exact quote.  The comment is ( in part): “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…”  

Now I’ll have to see if “internet with a purpose” is a foolish consistency or a return to sanity.  Take this challenge with me and see what you think.  I’d be interested in your results!

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