February 23 was Collegiate Day of Prayer. Leading up to that day, my fellow prayer team members and I from a campus fellowship fasted something that each of us felt was consuming our time. Fasting is the act of abstaining from something. It is often done for religious reasons, but does not have to be. People often fast from eating during certain hours or giving up an unhealthy food item, but other types of fasts can be social media or certain types of music. I gave up online browsing for three weeks, and as tempting as it was to search through Amazon or Etsy, I restricted myself. Here’s what I learned from fasting.
Before my online shopping fast, I considered myself productive. With balancing school, work, and extracurricular activities, I thought I was always stressed from not having enough time. However, the truth was that I was not managing my time well. Every morning, I get up before 7. Rather than using 20-30 minutes to do homework, I was adding clothes to my online shopping carts, but seldom buying anything. Sure, this may not seem like a lot of time, but the minutes add up, especially on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when Shein and Romwe release new items. The daily check-ins for coupons that I rarely used were also unnecessary uses of my time that made purchasing clothes even more tempting, despite my limited closet space.
My online browsing fast also exposed my habit of using work as an excuse for spending more money. Even though I was making money, I was going through it quicker. There are necessities like groceries and paying for gas and utilities that I inevitably have to pay for, so realizing how much money I go through without buying useless items has helped me become more mindful in keeping track of my expenses. I plan on portioning out how much money I can spend on wants and how much is spent on needs.
After reflecting on my poor time management, I want to commit to saving money. As college students, we have more control over our schedules than in high school. Without homework assigned the day before it’s due, it is easy to become distracted with other tasks. For anyone who feels like they are idolizing something, I encourage you to discipline yourself by taking a break from that thing.