I’ve recently approached a new stage in my NoSurf journey and I want to try something new and radical. I wanted to write about it in my journal so that I would have some record of it, as well as having the opportunity to to clearly define to myself what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
I’ve since decided that it would be a good idea to have a commitment thread for the entire community where I as well as everyone else can share their commitments as well.
I think such commitments are beneficial because in a sense they are binding contracts we make with ourselves. They also force us to focus and set clear goals and objectives for the month rather than wandering through aimlessly without any direction.
If you are interested in participating feel free to share your commitment however large or small.
Also good luck with your goals for the month of October!
I’ve recently realized I have an endless stack of material when it comes to books, articles, videos, podcasts, MOOCs etc. ive always justified this consumption as the material was all educational and none of it mindless. However I’m starting to see recently that these things now are lighting up my brain the way video games and twitter once used to. I like learning so much that my endless pursuit of knowledge has become my new vice.
I have this feeling that my plate is never truly clear. Each time I finish something there’s another book, article, or video to take its place. It feels like I’ve ran a marathon only to start running again with no break. I want to give my mind a break from this endless pursuit of knowledge. I’ve also come to realize that while I am learning…I’m also consuming. I want to shift the balance to and spend my time creating something new, unique, and truly original.
So for this month:
I have a few things left on my plate that I would like to clear off. Less than 1 days worth of reading and watching. I will finish those.
After that I will not read any nonfiction books, articles, podcasts or watch videos. Essentially anything being done for learning and increasing my store of knowledge I’m taking a break from.
All my time will be spent doing and creating. I plan on writing everyday for at least 2 hours a day.
Spend more of my free time on content purely for enjoyment. Reading fiction and watching good shows and movies.
Play badminton as frequently as possible.
Spend more time connecting with friends and family in a meaningful way.
I’m in a similar situation. For a year, I’ve never had less than 100 “watch later” videos on YouTube, mostly talks and lectures I never get to watch, and growing lists of articles, movies, series and online literature on my digital to do list. It sometimes comes to the point where I feel overwhelmed or unproductive, because I can’t seem to get these lists to become smaller.
So true! “Create more, consume less” is a great motto. I’m with you in this.
I’m also committing to not adding anything on any list. Either watch it now, or don’t. My “watch later, read later, consume later” needs to get smaller, more meaningful.
I love this idea, Nik! I’m particularly excited to hear how your break from educational information goes. You’re breaking the cycle of information overload!
I’ve been very busy with family events lately, but things should start slowing down for me starting right about… now. It seems like a great time to re-commit to my goals regarding internet usage and screens. My October goals are as follows:
Stop making excuses about doing quick web searches – unless they’re very important, they can wait. This is my biggest problem with screen usage at the moment.
Spend one week entirely immersed in my foreign language (starting tomorrow). No English allowed unless it concerns English-speaking friends or prior commitments.
Train well and take care of my body. Specifically, I need to adjust my calories and sleep to reflect the high amount of training I’m doing. If I am not eating and sleeping enough, then I need to take a day off.
Play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in French. I waited three months for this game to come out and I don’t want to sacrifice my understanding of the plot, but if I am going to make this work with my immersion week then I need to play the game in French.
And, inspired by Nik, I want to spend more time doing and creating, or being in constructive rest (mindfulness, meditating, stretching). Action is where the magic happens.
My commitment is a bit boring compared to the others, but recent changes finally enabled me to utilize something I always wanted to try: A phone basket.
I was always a tad jealous of people who managed to come home, put their phone in a specific place, and leave it there. Not carrying it around everywhere, grabbing it distractedly, not knowing where it is this time… when they’re home, that’s just where the phone is. Usually next to the door, similar how they hang the keys up next to it. Phone and keys ready to be taken with whenever you leave the house.
Now I’m a millennial and not a grandma, so I have impatient people that easily get offended if you don’t reply (mother) and a lot of important info on my phone, even if it’s just reminders or alarms. This approach didn’t work for me yet, I’d miss a lot of stuff.
Now it works, and my commitment is to using the phone basket as much as possible so it becomes a habit to drop the phone off there just as I hang up my keys, and only get the phone when I need it (calls etc).
I haven’t been here for more than a week,even missed my weekly update.I’ve got much better control over my internet habits now,and since my exam is near and I’m running out of time,the added pressure has been a blessing in disguise.I plan to stick to my study schedule and not waste time on the internet.Blocking sites has come handy.I’ll come here after some time and share my update,hopefully I’ll continue the momentum until my exams.
I was in a similar situation as you, but just decided today to remove all the entries in my watch later list automatically with a little script I found on Reddit. (If you want, I can share the link with you)
Ofcourse, I had a little bit of anxiety and made a backup and copied all the videos to a different list. But I remember doing this before and I just deleted that whole playlist. Somehow, I just needed to get over the fear of missing out, so I’ll probably will delete that other list someday as well, without looking into it.
My goal is to watch YouTube once per week and I’ll go through my subscription feed only and use the watch later feed to make a quick selection and then based on what Nik recommended, use the auto-play version on a more restricted device like a Roku or Chromecast. The next thing on my mind is to couple this to a timer, so I can track my weekly YouTube intake and it shouldn’t be longer than two hours, for example.
May I ask what your reasoning is for this? I find that the subscription bar is the only thing as a user I have control over and are not fed anything through an algorithm that is trained to keep me on the website as long as is humanly possible.
I really like this approach of yours! Lately, I have been pondering about something similar, but I think I know what my phone basket place could be. I find that I check my phone more often than is necessary. I seldomly miss out on texts and calls, but would like to not get distracted by my own cravings for dopamine. The upside that I see, is that I have a smartwatch that I mainly use for exercise, on which I blocked most of the notifications, but still allow my personal reminders and calls come true as well. So let’s see how this will go, since I am not sure of the radius (if the phone is downstairs and I am upstairs).
About my own commitments, I find it difficult and will need a few weeks to clearly think about and will start from the first of November and use the remainder of the month to get accustomed to my new challenges.
Like Nik, I’d like to take less information in. This would mean to be more strict with my podcast usage and only use it when going for an evening walk or driving to a place and listen to it instead of music. There’s another audiobook that I sometimes listen to while I drive as well, so I gotta figure out, when I listen to podcasts and when to audiobooks. My reasoning would be in the morning I’m mentally more fresh and the audiobook makes more sense. In the afternoon or early evening, I think I will listen to podcasts and when it’s a late nights drive and I am not yet mentally exhausted I should pick the audiobook over the podcast, since there is little on the road happening to distract me.
Furthermore, I would like to do an e-mail cleanup, which is an ongoing battle since the beginning of the year. What I would want the most is that I minimize the amount of newsletters that I am subscribed to and preferably move them all to a RSS-reader. So I can read the newsletters when I want, and not get distracted when I need to use my mail for work/family. However, the solution to this is not clear and the workaround I have implemented is not optimal.
The sudden realization that I have while writing the previous paragraph, is that I should make a new e-mailaddress, that I would open once a week. Or perhaps even better would be to use my current e-mailaddress and use the dot-trick. In which firstname.lastname@example.org would redirect to email@example.com, but it would allow me to easily filter them and visit that folder in my e-mailprogram once a week.
I think the latter is a better solution, since having another emailaddress to periodically check is never a good thing in my view.
Don’t know which smartwatch you have but if it connects to WiFi, phone and watch are connected through WiFi if they aren’t physically close enough. If they are in the same WiFi range it should work. If it is a smartwatch with Bluetooth only, it could get difficult.
It’s a Polar M600 and it has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. I think it should work and if I am out of reach, it will periodically reconnect when I pass by and update me then. Thanks for thinking this through with me