The other day, C.C. and I had a bit of a State of the Union discussion on how our big Escape from the Ordinary is going. A lot was discussed over a few hours, but I think the main theme was that we feel like we can do better. We’ve realized that we’ve become pretty set in our routines and haven’t been pushing ourselves to really take all of this to the next level.
The biggest problem, we came to realize, is our lack of focus. Way too much of our time gets eaten up by distractions that can fall under the broad category of “media”. Our media consumption includes things like internet browsing, television, video games, reading for pleasure, etc. Now, all of those things are good in moderation, but they have become distractions in our lives because we haven’t kept them in check.
It can feel like a real addiction in this day and age. We live in a society where we seem to constantly need to be stimulated with the latest news, latest updates on Facebook and Twitter, the latest games, and the newest shows on TV.
How are the Media Distractions Are Affecting our Lives?
We noticed that the media distractions are affecting us in two ways. The first is that we aren’t spending as much time as we should on our work. Our big goal is to work for ourselves fulltime one day, but lately we’ve been doing just enough to fill in the gap between our day jobs. If we ever want to make our work at home stuff our main source of income then we need to step it up. Work lately has become doing just enough and then moving on to browsing the internet or watching TV.
The other way the media distractions affect us is that they take time away from trying new things or even re-kindling old interests. It has become way too easy just to grab the remote or mindlessly surf the internet instead of seeing what else is out there. There are tons of things we’ve been meaning try for years that we’ve just never gotten around to.
The Media Consumption Diet
Basically, we are in a bit of a rut and we know that we need something to shake things up and make us refocus. So we’ve decided that we’re going on a media consumption diet. We are making it a 30-day challenge where our media distractions will be almost none. The idea is that we will break the addictions now and at the end of the 30 days we will see how much we will let back in. I don’t envision us getting rid of internet surfing or TV for the rest of our lives, so it is really more about relearning what is an acceptable level to let back in.
The rules of this challenge are fairly simple at first glance. There will be no television. There will be no using the internet for anything but work, answering emails, or for research (i.e. informational, if we need a question answered- things like that). There will be no video games. Really, it is just about identifying what is a distraction and avoiding it.
We can already foresee that there will be some gray areas. For example, what if we are over a friend’s house and everyone is watching TV or playing a game? We feel like a situation like that would be OK because we would be sharing an experience with other people, which seems to have more value than vegging out in front of the TV at home. This won’t be an exact science.
The bottom line is that there are certain things that we all do that are just to pass time and have little value; those are the things we are trying to avoid right now. I think we have a good feel for what is a distraction and what is not.
We’ve been at this a few days and are already noticing lots of positive changes. We’ll make some follow up posts about the changes and about how things are going so as to not make this introductory post too long. So be on the lookout for them over the coming weeks.
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