The Internet Timer Trick

I want to highlight something today that I have probably mentioned in the past along the lines of productivity and energy management, but something that I’ve revisited here early in the new year. It was one of our better household habits over the last year or so and we’re actually enhancing it a little bit. What I’m talking about is having a timer on our modem for the internet.

Now in our household, we don’t have cable TV. Our TV is effectively the internet, and our primary location probably is YouTube both for instructional and entertainment. We also have Amazon Prime, so we catch some things there, but YouTube is where we spend a lot of our time.

Regardless of where we spend our time, what we’ve done is have a timer on our mode. It’s a power timer that kicks the modem on in the morning around five o’clock and then it goes off around 10 o’clock. The timer we use is very analog and it only sets to the hour.

One of the reasons it’s helpful to turn off at night is just from a hacking standpoint, which is a pretty minor issue, but people who might be out and about through the night can’t play around trying to access your internet and go places they ought not to go. When I look at the available wireless networks that are not super highly secure even in our neighbourhood, there’s probably a dozen that I could access and fiddle with from my own computer. That’s the same for anyone looking at my network.

So there’s that side, but the real benefit comes from the evening where at a certain point in the evening the internet goes off. This means I probably won’t be working or sitting in front of the tube staying up too late.

We know that screen time right up to bedtime is not a good practice. I think there is a bit of an exception with Kindle readers because just the nature of the light is not quite as serious as screen light on TVs and computers. But the screen time itself and headspace, like watching an action movie right up until bedtime, can maybe get the heart rate and adrenaline up and can shape your thinking, so we found it pretty helpful.

Sometimes it’s a little irritating where maybe we’ve started a show a little bit late and the internet goes out with only five minutes left. Oh well! Sometimes I can pull it up on the phone and watch it that way or sometimes you just wait. We have learned to time those things and plan our evenings a little bit better.

As we’ve start this new year, we’ve changed the time so now our internet is going off at 9:30. This will be in some ways a challenge because a lot of movies, especially epic level movies, are two hours plus, so that’s going to lead to some planning.

One of the reasons I’m doing that is that I want to spend more time reading as opposed to just watching. I’ve got a nice stack of books, both in my office and on my Kindle. The online thing is easy and easy to stay there, and unless you’re taking notes, it’s quite passive in a lot of ways. I want to create more time for reading and get off the screen earlier, so I’m looking forward to how this will play out into the into the new year.

I know the timer on the internet itself has been one of the best new habits of recent years that we’ve established, and I’m looking forward at enhancing that.

I encourage you to think about how you do your evening routine. There’s a lot of talk these days about morning routines and how you start your day, but how you start your day and then how you end your day really does affect the next day quite a bit. It affects your sleep and your headspace, so for us, this is really a way of just making sure our heads in the right place as we go to bed.

So something to think about. Consider me putting a timer on your internet if you find yourself going too late and see how it ripples through into the rest of your life. I hope your year is starting.

Wisdom to you. God bless as you seek to be a disciple who makes disciples.

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