I started off 2020 on a great note and continued through the year. I used a daily checklist in Notion to make sure I accomplished something every day. Here is the single list of things.
- Learn something new
- 30 mins on Social Media
- Do House stuff
A weird list, but here’s the reasoning behind the four.
Learn Something New
This one is pretty simple. Learning anything new that day to increase my knowledge in either my work field (IT) or my personal self-help/growth. This task can be completed using the next item on the list, “Read.”
My company pays for a subscription to ITPro.TV, and online learn at your own pace IT library of classes. My goal was to do one hour daily but sometimes it doesn’t happen. This year I want to put more of a priority on this. Its free to me and can only provide me with more understanding of the IT world I work in.
A journey I started in 2019 was to read more. Before that year, I couldn’t tell you the last time I read a book about anything. So my first dive into self-help books was Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book set the groundwork for this entire journey in learning more and stopping the waste of my time on social media.
After finishing Atomic Habits, the natural progression seemed to move to Cal Newport’s books. So I started with Deep Work. The premise of the book is distractions are bad. Picking a task and just working on that one task without the distractions of email, text messages and phone calls. It also talks about the reality that other people’s emergencies don’t have to be yours.
I continued my Cal Newport journey to Digital Minimalism. Minimalism is a topic and Philosophy that has fascinated me for years now. Something about having what I need to bring peace to my over-filled brain and physical space feels like the piece I wish I had. As I write this post, I hardly have enough room for this computer on the table due to the cereal box, water cup, baby monitor and residual items from Christmas scattered over the dining room table. Always a work in progress.
A World without Email was an exciting read. In my line of work (IT), it’s not practical to only check my email once a day, let alone a few times a month. A lot of this book I couldn’t relate to or couldn’t apply in my daily work-life, and so that concluded my Cal Newport journey.
I was an avid listener of The Tim Ferris Podcast but fell off the bandwagon when he gets in the “compounds” and psychedelics, two topics I have no interest in. However, one episode came up in the feed that interested me, the lost South by Southwest talk he did before the release of his famous book “The 4-hour Work Week”.
I was glued to the 50-minute episode. I as soon as the episode ended, I bought the book. I’m only into it a few chapters, but what a game-changer. I’m trying to apply the teachings from this book to my everyday life, though some are difficult due to my 9 – 5 “career.”
30 Minutes of Social Media
I have removed Facebook from my phone entirely and only check it when sitting at a computer. I also found removing all the news organizations and companies trying to “buy my eyes” has cleaned up my feed. I now only see things friends and family have posted. Sometimes I don’t check Facebook for a few days, which is a massive change from the once-every-hour doom scrolling.
On the flip side, Instagram is still a problem for me. A lot of communication occurs in the Instagram app, so I find myself chatting and scrolling while I wait for responses. My one relief has been tapping on the “Instagram” logo at the top of the app and changing to see people and hashtags I’m “Following.”
The 30-minute limit should reduce the “doom scrolling” until I can make the jump to only a few times a week.
Do House Stuff
This was always an area of improvement. With two kids, the house goes from clean and organized to a disaster in just a matter of 30 seconds. I checked this box off once I had cleaned or run a load of laundry once a day. It’s not glamourous, but it has to be done.
I’m going to put the processes I had created with the daily checklist back in place. Unfortunately, stopping didn’t hold me accountable for the tasks on the list, thus causing everything to fall by the wayside. I believe this is also the reason for my decline in mental health.
I want to find an app to help me along with this journey as there are many barriers when using Notion to track the changes. If you have any suggestions, please comment below. Your help would be greatly appreciated! I will report back on how the journey is going. New me starts today!