Just read an excellent article that had a simple way to:
- Read a lot more
- Catch up on TV series (if you watch, I don’t)
- Explore where you live, meet new people, learn a language
- Write 50% more than you do now
- Experience an “increase in mental clarity [that] is astounding”
- Give you back 20% to 30% of your disposable time and consciousness
And best of all, you will “barely miss” what you have to sacrifice to achieve this. They only drawback is that you must sacrifice one habit in total, so you don’t use up your willpower and go back to the dark side.
What is it? Get rid of internet access at home.
Unthinkable? The unthinkableness of it made me think of Matthew Chapter 19:
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” … 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Now I’m in a bind, do I want a clearer mind, or do I want my 30% loss in disposable consciousness?
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
The word “piquant” means disturbing and pleasing at the same time. This article is quite piquant wouldn’t you agree?
If you’ve cut out internet (or other pastimes) and experienced a big uptick in clarity of mind, please post what you did, why, and how it impacted you in the comments!
Gave up cable TV years ago. Gave up the rest when the analog signal went away. Gave up news/talk radio and switched to classical music in the car. News, whether on the TV or the car radio does nothing but get me riled up with no resolution. Clarity and insight also come from how the media white-noise is replaced. For me, running, walking the dogs in silence for an hour…
Ok, ok, so we do watch a Netflix now and again :-)
We donated our TV a little over a year ago. Although my wife and I have a show a piece we watch via Hulu, the TV is no longer on in the background, it isn’t an option for our daughter and there is more friction involved when we want to watch. It’s not as easy as hitting the power button.
As for internet, that’s a big step. I’ve thought about logging my activity, manually or with an app, to see how I spend that time. I do know that I read a lot which helps me stay involved in topics and in ways I couldn’t otherwise. I try to limit that by subscribing to those sources and only checking my RSS feed. I don’t think we could get rid of internet at home because I wouldn’t want to have to go to another location to do this.
I’d be interested to see what you find on this topic. Poll time?
I am with you on the no TV. We don’t have one either. But I have to admit that the seductions of TV culture still have a gravitational attraction. At the moment, I have a spare 26″ 1920×1200 monitor, and also “no incremental cost” cable TV (we just turned Comcast on in the new house so for $59 we get internet and TV for 6 months, no opt out). Beth (spouse unit) said “Can we rig up that monitor in the living room so we can watch while we are Yoga-ing?” Sat down to the internet and began browsing 2 hours later, the only cable-in HDMI out solution I could find was Tivo. Costs either $79 and $16 a month, or $500 one time. So I asked Beth what she thought. Her reply “The only way I want to connect cable to the monitor IS IF THE CONNECTION IS FREE.” I was lucky, I married a dutch girl who hears nickels hitting the bottom of tin cans, so we put the wooden stake through the heart of the TV idea with minimal time loss.
In thinking over no internet at home, that is the only access Beth has to the internet, so I’am moodle-ing on ways to cut myself off at home, without drawing down my extremely limited supply of willpower (see WILLPOWER for details. Note this book has the FAMOUS “monkey mind” interview of David Allen). So, I’would need to figure out how to cut my iMac off from the internet in a non-willpower sapping way, and then use USB thumb drives to move my files. I really love DropBox and Evernote, so I’would have to periodically need to sync back up. I dont’ know. Any suggestions for virtual internetlessness appreciated!