January 30, 2014

February: The Toughest Month Yet

What will happen when all your sources of distraction/procrastination are taken away from you?
Will you suddenly get more productive?
Or will you just get fed up and give up?
Or will you find alternate sources of distractions.
Or find chinks in the rules to still avoid having to do the hard work?

In February, I set out to find the answers to these questions.

Here's what I am doing in February:
  • No Newspapers
  • No TV (which is mostly more news)
  • No Blogs (reading)
  • No Twitter
  • No Instagram
  • No Pocket
  • No Movies
  • No TV series episodes
  • No YouTube/Vimeo/Vine (unless it's for learning something)
  • No Music
  • No Podcast (except if I create one of my own)
  • No Video Games

Here's what will remain:
  • Whatsapp/Hangout (but only between 10 pm - 12 pm. I am not sure if I can pull this one. I like complete ban than having to control myself).
  • Google Plus (but ONLY to post weekly updates on resolutions and this experiment, and replying to anyone who cares to comment.).
  • Gmail (to check emails as fast as possible and only during 10 pm - 12 pm window).

Here's what I have already done, before posting this.
  • Removed Twitter/Instagram/Pocket/Feedly from mobile and tablet. YouTube being a native app unfortunately won't go. I don't play games usually. But I will remove them as well, if I catch myself playing one. 
  • Blocked these sites on Shraddha.
  • Instructed (read pleaded) family to keep the newspaper away from eyes (newspaper addiction is bad. I have an intuition I will flip on this one.)
  • Created half a dozen filters to automatically take care of more than half of the emails.

So, what will I do (or at least theoretically try to do) instead?

This is just an experiment (but, probably the toughest self-experiment till now). I am not going to punish myself for breaking the rules set above. I am not going to jump out of a vehicle if someone starts playing  music in it. I am not going to sleep on the terrace if family is watching TV on both the floors. I am not going to cry if someone ties me to a chair and make me read the newspapers. I am not going to take a bath in Yamuna Ji if my eyes fall on a blog post (although I might close my eyes).

This is not going to be a perfect experiment. I know that. I can still waste time doing absolutely nothing at all, which will make this experiment an utter waste of efforts. But in any case, I will continue this experiment till the last day of the month (which thankfully has just 28 days). And I am going to be brutally honest if I break any of the above rules (do follow this page. Please).

It's actually a little funny that I need to call this the toughest month ever. There are so many people, either so poor or so busy or so passionate that they don't have time and resource to access any of the above sources to kill time. Just 8-9 years ago, I had none of the above except few hours of TV and an FM radio. 

I am not a hero, or a monk. As I said, this has all the recipes to be a disaster and an embarrassment of an experiment. But I am on the verge of implosion if I don't do anything to achieve what I have set out to achieve. Time is slipping. I am just desperate to make 2014 matter.