The first three months of 2011 were extremely hectic, and in response I decided to declare April as a Super Simple Month. This was the right choice for me, and I embraced the austerity that came from this decision. I re-read a few of my favorite books, I spent as much time with my family as I could, I refrained from making any non-essential purchases, I was in bed before 10:00 most nights, and I declined many invitations that would have added stress to my schedule.
As much as I would love to keep a Super Simple Year, I know it isn’t the right choice for me. I like to travel, I enjoy having a more robust social life than I did in April, and there are new book titles calling to me from my Kindle. I’m not planning to jump back into a hectic lifestyle in May, however. There are many wonderful lessons learned from April’s Super Simple Month that I will continue to carry forward with me. Instead of simple, I’m aiming for calm for the remainder of the year.
For May, my public resolution is to be more mindful and deliberate about my media intake. I’m not against television, magazines, newspapers, or the internet (obviously), I think they are wonderful forms of entertainment, education, and information distribution. I’ve simply realized that it is more difficult for me to disconnect from media now than it once was, and this doesn’t sit well with me. I have a constant desire to continually be “plugged in,” and I want to be more conscientious about how and when I am.
I haven’t fully figured out my plan for cutting back on my media intake, but there are a few steps I know I will follow or continue to follow:
- Except for major breaking news, do not watch television programs when they are initially broadcast.
- Record programs of interest on the DVR and view no more than an hour of television each week day, two hours of television on Saturdays, and no television on Sundays.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes whenever I am at the computer or using applications on my smart phone for reasons other than work. This includes personal email, checking social media sites, and general roaming around the web. (This does not include phone calls.)
- Do not sit at the computer or use applications on my smart phone for reasons other than work for more than 30 minutes total in a day.
- Unsubscribe from all magazines I’m not reading cover-to-cover during the month printed on their covers.
Do you limit your media intake? What guidelines do you have set for these activities? I’m interested in learning what you do and why you have made your decisions. Share your strategies in the comments.