Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 New Year's Resolutions

Given that we're over a week into 2010, it's time I committed to some resolutions. In Influence, Cialdini says that the way to do something you want to do is to commit to it publicly, so here goes.

I have the following two resolutions:
  1. Change how I interact with technology so that it's enhancing my quality of life rather than distracting me from reality. While the things like my phone and the internet (e-mail, Facebook, and Google Reader) are good for connecting me with people and keeping me up to date on current events, I'd like to figure out how much is too much and get rid of everything superfluous. For instance, while Facebook is great for letting me know what friends I haven't seen since high school are doing, it's bad if I'm spending the afternoon Facebook stalking rather than having face-to-face contact. Also, reading random junk mail about EMS sales is about as unproductive and as unrelaxing as watching TV commercials. My friend Chenxing recommended that I look at and gave some other suggestions about reducing junk mail, opting out of credit card offers, etc. So far, I've unsubscribed from 20-30 mailing lists and have set up filters on my e-mail inbox so that there are fewer distractions.
  2. Change things so that how I spend my time reflects what I value. At this point in my life, 1) what I'm "too busy" for reflects my own lifestyle choices rather than anything that's been imposed on me and 2) I'm not actually "too busy" for a lot of things. I've been learning that my being "too busy" is self-imposed barrier to having more fun that results from guilt about not working as much as I could and from living in a culture where how busy you are reflects how cool you are. In the coming year, I want to be more honest with myself about how I spend my time and how I want to spend my time. I will work on recognizing the that I (usually) have time for 1) seeing friends, 2) doing fun things (such as attending fun talks and taking up rugby), 3) reading blogs and news, 4) sleeping, and 5) doing things for other people.

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