Less Reading More Doing—Conclusions

Written on Sunday as a follow up to this post.

I have absolutely loved this week. I can’t remember the last time I felt this productive, or this excited.

First things first, the breakdown. How was it to not have these things?

Social Media, Blogs and The Internet

As soon as I told myself I couldn’t check Twitter or Facebook I didn’t want to. I am an all or nothing kind of person so I’m still trying to figure out how I can be engaged with the design community without it becoming a compulsive habit. Facebook I keep for messages, events and band notifications, but I didn’t miss the main feed.

I’m in two minds about Instagram and Pinterest. I find Pinterest really useful and did log on once to look at something on one of my boards. What I don’t find useful is browsing the endless “popular” feed. I have a number of inspiration blogs in my Feedly as well. Even though I think seeing visually rich things every day is important, it can become too easy to rely on it and I feel we can sometimes lose our authenticity because of it.

What I am thinking about doing putting the inspiration blogs in my bookmarks. That way I can go and look at them when I feel the need, rather than aimlessly looking as a method of procrastination. I’m not sure how well this will work, so it’s a bit of further experimentation.

I have felt that my work has been good this week, and noticed I have tried things I thought I had long forgotten, so maybe relying on myself a bit more is a good thing.

Instagram, so unsure. I don’t like that I’d interrupt a moment I was enjoying to then share that moment. I’m not 100% sure what the motivation was and that makes me wonder if it’s healthy. I like looking at the pictures and seeing people’s days but again I don’t like the compulsive checking. I might leave it uninstalled for a while and see how I feel.

Blogs I didn’t miss either. There are a couple I want to stay up to date with, the rest I have moved into my bookmarks so I can look at them when I have a specific need.

What I did find was that because the only reading I did was targeted, I enjoyed that learning process much much more. I was more engaged and it got me thinking about a lot of different things.

Working in such a fast moving industry means that staying up to date is important for me though. Alongside the few blogs I’m going to keep, I’m going to check Sidebar.io for regular news. It gives quite a good snapshot of what’s going on, and coupled with the Twitter plan I think it could work quite well.

Books

I knew stopping in the middle of Little Women was going to be hard, and it was. It was heaven to go back to it though. I’m thinking of switching up my evening routine so that I still get enough time to read, but don’t eat into my sleeping time. Sometimes it is delicious to be curled up in bed reading past bedtime, but I was doing it every single night. Going to sleep on time this week has made a massive difference to my energy, and is something to be considered.

Food

Since I’ve already been working on some food goals, going without junk food has been pretty easy with one exception.

Now, I may be straying into TMI here, but other ladies will understand. I hit that time of the month on Friday, and even though my mood had been pretty okay, the pain was making me want some chocolate.

What I ended up doing was buying some supposedly PMS busting bananas (a complete shock to me, I am so ant-fruit it’s not funny) and baking one of them. I then filled it with a few squares of 80% cocoa chocolate. It was so good. I only wanted the one, which surprised me. And even more surprising the rest of the chocolate is still in the cupboard. I had no urge to eat any more of it, and still have some left for more banana treats. I’m so glad I didn’t delve into the world of junk-ier chocolate, I didn’t need to, and this really did the trick.

I also ate a substantial amount of veg this week. I experimented with roasting celery which came out SO well that I will definitely be doing it again. I made kale chips, I ate a whole bag of spinach in one sitting. Remembered that I love broccoli so much I will happily just sit and eat a whole one, etc etc. Veg. Bloody love the stuff.

Emails

Probably the only rule I broke due to having a lot of stuff on eBay. I unsubscribed from a few more newsletters though, and am so inbox zeroed I should get some kind of geek award.

TV/Films/Videos

Not even remotely difficult. I don’t care that much for TV anyway. It was interesting waiting to watch Silent Witness, but I saved it and watched it on Saturday night after a very productive day. I think I enjoyed it all the more because I wasn’t watching it after I would normally go to bed.

I want to do my weekly film though, I just don’t want to be watching 7 in a week.

Reruns of shows are a no unless there’s a specific reason I think. Like being ill, that’s what reruns are good for. Or doing a marathon with a friend.

Music

I missed music like crazy at first and then Friday I seemed to calm down. I was very aware of a lot of annoying noises particularly when I was trying to work. I missed it when doing the washing up, but not when cooking.

I reintroduced it on Saturday. First I tried having it on in the car, but was doing a confusing journey and turned it off because I felt I couldn’t fully enjoy it.

Then in the afternoon I put Muse’s The Resistance on whilst doing an ink drawing and was in heaven! When I left the room for about thirty seconds I actually paused the song so I wouldn’t miss any of it! I’ve listened to the symphony hundreds of times, but it brought tears to my eyes this time. It was just so nice to hear it.

I think now I’m going to be a bit more discerning with music. Not just have constant background noise, but use it when I can really listen. And maybe when there’s a really annoying noise…

Shopping

Easy. Didn’t need to buy anything though, so not much of a challenge.

Conclusions

Not being able to procrastinate makes you face up to things, and really confront what it is that you’re trying to avoid. It makes it hard to give into the “fear” that prevents you from doing and sharing things. I really enjoyed it, and I’m going to try and keep the ethos going without being completely weird about it, or becoming a hermit.