I took an honest and objective inventory of my habits today to see if I have been truly adhering to a less consumptive lifestyle. I have been doing relatively well, but there are still some areas that need to be addressed.
I have done well at eliminating the nonsensical scrolling for hours from my daily habit. I don’t any longer waste hours flipping through gifs and social media posts, and I feel like I’m much more productive as a result. I’m more aware of my family when they are nearby, and I pay greater attention to them. During short periods of down time, I read books on the Kindle app on my phone.
I still watch Youtube videos in the evenings though and listen to podcasts whenever I’m doing things around the house.
By and large, I’m still consuming media constantly. I’ve done a very effective job of making the things that I consume a much higher quality, but the consumption is still constant. The effect is that I’m almost never doing only one thing at a time. I’m brushing my teeth and watching a Youtube video about psychology, or I’m washing dishes and listening to a podcast about the Paleo diet and alternative medicine. I’m never just brushing my teeth.
I think that I may be missing out by doing this. I’m benefitting by taking in vast amounts of quality information during all parts of the day, but I’m missing out on elusive and quiet moments for reflective contemplation. I fear that I’m not truly retaining the information that I’m learning or extracting its full value because I’m not taking the time to reflect on and incorporate the information into my life before I gleefully bounce off to the next topic.
I’m never truly present in any task. My attention is always pulled from one place to the next. I think I’m going to spend some effort as part of this non-consumption experiment to reacquaint myself with boredom. I’m going to start by leaving my video and podcast consumption during my daily chores intact. I’m going to stop using my cell phone whenever I get ready for bed in the evening. I won’t watch Youtube while I brush my teeth. I’ll use that time for contemplation right before bed. I’m going to carve out ten minutes a day to meditate, and I’ll see what effect that has, if any, on my ability to more comfortably withstand boredom.
This experiment is nearly a month old, and I feel like it has had a positive impact. I’m beginning to view things a bit differently, and I feel like I’m much more focused. Keeping this journal has been helpful. It forces me to think about my goals.