If anyone's curious, I read 27 books in 2012, 22 books in 2011, and 13 books in 2010. This is an alarming trend, people!
One realization I've been coming to is that I spend far too much time zoning out in front YouTube, television, The Sims, Solitaire... basically anything on my computer or phone that could be considered fun. And while there's nothing wrong with fun, I think perhaps I need to put fun back in it's rightful place.
So... I'm going to try an experiment. I'm starting this week, even though it's not the New Year yet, because if I don't start now I never will. This is a modified version of my previous technology fast, in case you were wondering. Here's my plan:
Goal #1 - No zoning out on digital media during the week.This includes video games, scanning FB/Twitter outside of actual communication purposes, watching tv, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube for hours on end, etc. Because I run an online business (or two, or three), I cannot actually NOT go online, but I can definitely limit the types of activities I do and when/how much I do them.
Goal #2 - Limit Email/ FB/ Twitter communications to once or twice a day.When I hear the ding of a new message, I have to check it... or do I? I am going to attempt to batch-check my messages once or twice a day to hopefully avoid the time-suck that is responding to messages. I've turned off most of the random alerts on my iPhone and moved all the apps with alert badges (like Mail, FB, etc) to back screens. This way I'm not tempted to check my messages the second they come in, but rather when I actually decide to sit down and think about them.
Goal #3 - No screens in bed.This means no listening to podcasts to try to put myself to sleep and no designing webpages while not at my desk. As comfy as doing these things is, I think it is actually contributing to my insomniac tendencies because when I lay down to sleep my mind starts getting excited about all the different media or projects I want to consume/ work on. I may have to allow watching TV in bed because I do that on my laptop and no one really wants to watch TV while sitting in a desk chair, but everything else will be done elsewhere.
Goal #4 - Limit binge-digital-consumption to weekends.I won't attempt to quit technology cold-turkey. I like it and it's fun, so...
This rule goes along with rule #1. Basically I'm going to limit my tv-binge-watching and my Sims 3 marathon-playing-sessions to the weekends, along with all other "fun" media consumption. If I find myself running out of time to "get everything done", this may be a good clue that I don't need to watch or play everything. Lol.
Goal #5 - READ more books!All the previous rules were made with the intention of freeing up time to work on the things that I have been wanting to get to but never feel like I have enough time to do. First up on this list... reading! I hope that by curbing my always-connected-ness to technology, I can actually re-build my concentration-on-reading powers. Also hopefully I can clear out a bunch of the half-read books on my shelf. Lol. I have a bad habit of beginning books and then forgetting about them because I only read about once a month. No more!
Goal #6 - Design more.Seeing as how I'm trying to be a graphic/web designer, I probably should put more thought into designing things, right? Lol. I do design quite a bit, but I think a more regular concentration of energy on this would be a good thing. I have so many "to do" projects I want to design (sample websites, etc) that it would definitely be good for me to have a regular habit of "business hours" where I can concentrate on this, rather than getting around to it after I binge-watch my shows for the day. ;)
Goal #7 - Exercise, photograph, pray, shower, and hydrate more.This the "everything else" rule. I tend to get stuck in my rut of being a couch potato, to the exclusion of everything else, so I want to try to be healthier, more active, and more focused on God this year. I don't have specific goals for these areas really... just the awareness that I need to make more of an effort in these areas. Feeding my creative and spiritual appetites can only breed good things, and showering and drinking more water is always a good idea. ;)