Once I committed to this challenge of writing for 30 days straight (that’s what this is all about: #6 of 30) I knew there would be difficult days. I knew Thursday would probably be more difficult than most.
It’s been taking me anywhere between 60-90 minutes or more from starting to posting one of these blogs, and that’s a chunk out of anyone’s day. On Thursday’s I have an acting class (it’s a high spot of the week and perhaps I’ll talk about it another day). I have to leave for that in about an hour and a half…But my wife is driving home from work and hopes to have tea with me (we do like our afternoon tea ritual together when we get the chance) so I have maybe an hour from now…
Here’s one solution: I stop right now and say I have nothing to write about…but I’d be lying (not that that’s frowned on so much these days). No, I know what I shall write about: The ways in which I tend to use up time sub-optimally…. Yesterday I mentioned I should start back with a regular meditation habit, and today I did just that – so perhaps if I actually write down here some of the ways I could save time, or use it more efficiently, I might commit to those as well…
Here’s an obvious one: Facebook (and other online rabbit holes). I did watch another of those daily videos being posted this week by Peter Shankman (I mentioned him a couple of days ago – fascinating guy – link here). Today the video was with Mike Vardy (link here) an efficiency expert. This bit grabbed my attention: “Intention+Attention=Productivity“ and “Intention without Attention is Powerless. Attention without Intention is Directionless“ (yes, I went back and looked it up). So Facebook and it’s rabbit holes tends to be ‘Attention without Intention’. Directionless. Doesn’t sound good. I need to find my active reason for going into Facebook and then get out – even if it’s just a quick review of whether anyone has said anything nice about me today 🙂 Can I cut back? Oh, yes.
Here’s another: The news. I’m a news junkie and have been since my teens. I used to wake on school days in my teens listening to BBC Radio4 (and then I went to work for them for almost a decade in the ’80s). I watch or listen to the news a lot! It doesn’t make me quite so happy these days, that’s true, but I feel it necessary to be part of an informed citizenry. Can I cut back? Maybe…
The last one I’ll probably have time for here is TV drama. But I think I have a sufficient excuse. I love good TV drama, and I’m an actor. I’m an actor who has moved down to LA in an attempt to finally do what he came to the United States to do in the first place (well, not the only thing, but I always had this in my back-pocket as a desire) and that’s to find some kind of acting career that incorporated TV and film. I not only watch TV I like, I also watch so that I can learn. It’s about being aware of what’s popular in the industry among other things. I’m also practicing screenwriting – it’s good for an actor to stretch to other aspects of the business even if that isn’t his or her core strength. I like to see how plots develop and what part the acting and the screenwriting play in making the piece ‘work’.
The thing is I do find myself feeling very guilty as I watch the penultimate episode of Ray Donovan or I start to watch the second episode of The Orville (I love the former but frankly, I don’t think the latter will stay on my radar much longer). Especially when my wife is sitting at her desk grading papers… “But Cynthia, it’s important I watch this…”! Can I cut back? I could maybe refine my tastes – ensure only the highest quality drama gets my attention. But that’s going to be tough.
Overall I think what it ultimately comes down to is: what am I going to do with that reclaimed time? If it’s going to be something useful to me then, yes, cutting back on one activity to favor another that is going to ultimately be more rewarding should be easy. But, of course, I have to recognize it as such.
Hmmm. This is a lot like trying to change your diet (see yesterday’s blog). I may have to give up things I love right now in order to change my trajectory in life to something that aligns more exactly with my mental/physical/spiritual needs.
Big stuff. I need a cup of tea.