It’s a revolution.
Before your read this post – answer the following questions honestly:
- What is the first thing you do when you get home from work or school?
- What is the main activity you do in your living room?
- What do you do upon waking up and before you go to sleep?
How many of your answers included:
- Scrolling social media?
- Watching TV?
- Surfing the internet?
- Reading books, magazines, or newspaper?
- Playing phone/video games?
In an age of consumption, you can’t really blame yourself for being the perfect consumer. We’ve been trained to become addicted to our devices, and to confuse WATCHING something together for DOING something together.
So how can we stop it?
Well, for starters you can make a list. Last week I gave a step-by-step approach to creating your Life List, and that is amazing for a few reasons.
1. It’s a memory jogger. You see, of course there are a million things you’ve said you wanted to do – but when you come home from a long day at work – or suddenly it’s Saturday and miraculously it’s not someone’s birthday that needs to be celebrated – you’re like….. ummm… so.. Netflix? Or scroll scroll and then magically the day is gone! But we can’t expect you to come up with all those amazing things you want to do if you don’t write them down! When I find myself with free time, I can simply say – o0o Life List time. How can I be more epic today? And voila – my list tells me to… start figuring out how to create my own crossword….or to pick up that Harmonica I got and never learned how to play.
2. It’s too easy to consume. Our desire to DO THINGS is constantly competing with our desire to be a spectator. Entertainment – it’s just right there – ALL THE TIME! If you’re in the 99% majority, you have probably created some unhealthy addictions to consumption without even realizing it. Do you check social media every time you wake up, are in line at a store, or are… ahem…. using the restroom? Do you consume more than an hour of television a week? Do you read the newspaper, online blogs (Okay.. I know you do, you’re reading mine 😉 ), or even lots of books? I’m not saying all consuming is bad – in fact I listen to podcasts, read, check social media and watch a little TV almost EVERY day. I’m just saying we gotta find a balance.
3. Lists are intentional. Many might argue that they ARE learning and getting a lot of good out of their consumption – but LOTS of the time, you may set out to learn something and then get sucked into a black hole of nonsense. A Life List insures that you are doing something because it is of value to you. You are creating a life with intention not consuming whatever comes your way.
If we don’t break the cycle of CONSTANT consumption, our thoughts simply become a regurgitation of what we see and hear. We become less and less unique and are less likely to take groundbreaking action and make a real impact on our world.
Here are some tips on how to get motivated:
- Stop telling yourself you’re “busy”. Everyone thinks they’re busy and even if you are, that word really just means, “It’s not a priority right now.”
- Track the way you spend your time! From apps like RescueTime to real live people you can hire to sit down next to you and write down everything you do… once you start tracking, you might find that you are actually consuming more than you think!
- Set aside a “Doing.” Hour. Simply set aside an hour or half hour or TEN MINUTES to “doing” each day. This time has zero screens, or books or sound. It is not something you spectate. It’s something you actively participate in. Sounds crazy. I know.
- Enlist a friend! Doing things is just more fun with a friend. They are also great for holding you accountable to your commitment.
- Join a club. This is a great way to DO with a system in place. You’re also committing to a frequency of doing! Even BETTER.
- Take a class. Ah, yes. The lost art of “taking a class”. There is a reason parents want to enroll their kids in everything. They want them to learn and grow and do and see what sticks! Why should you ever replace that time with consuming and consuming some more?
But first you need to make a decision.
Are you going to join the Doing Revolution?
Comment below with one thing you DID in your free time today in lieu of your typical consuming!