Having returned from two weeks on Omø, a small island, I decided to do a little experiment. Living in a little house on a remote island with no media or internet, and nothing to do but to stare at the sea, it makes you all Thoreau'ish.
"I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Wonderful quote! The idea of a life lived deliberately is a strong and beautiful one. Countless are the hours, I have wasted in front of my television, or surfing idly on the web. And how futile such evenings have been. Mostly... reaching for the remote have become a habit for my tired mind. After a long day, I simply haven't got any mental energy left to get started on something.
But after Omø I decided to give myself a weeklong challenge:
- No television - Unless it's recorded to skip commercials and positively interesting.
- No pointless surfing or RSS reading.
- Time spent on computer is only to be creative. Not on taking in inputs, only on generating outputs.
A lot of hours got released! Every night at eight o'clock, when the kid was fast asleep, there was a whole evening to get something interesting done. I have been Running. Discoursing. Writing. Sorting. Uncluttering. Every single evening I got something done, that made me feel content with myself.
Lesson Learned: Prepare to relax! When your fingers are itching for the remote, you have to have something else to do. This have made me add an extra context to my GTD system "Home - Play". On this list I put things that I find thoroughly enjoyable, that I can do in the evening. Get something prepared.
Enjoy the sound of silence: It is easier to relax, when the television isn't churning in your ears all night. Your mind will enjoy this breathing space after a day of working and parenting. You'll perhaps even daydream and stare out the window!
Go to bed earlier: This is my final benefit from the week. I got to bed earlier. There was no latenight comedy to keep me up past midnight. No feeling of unfullfillment to keep me haunting around the internet for something new and interesting.
So I'll keep up my life without television next week as well. Have any of you ever tried such an information diet? How did it work out for you?
- Jens Poder