Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cognitive Surplus - What do we do with it?

If you're like me (and I'm assuming you are), you wonder how you're going to find time to do all the cool things you want to accomplish. You THINK you don't have any time, but when you really sit down and look at how you spend your time, you realize that you waste a lot more time than you actually think. For many of us, a lot of that wasted time comes from watching TV.

About a decade ago, I reached a breaking point and decided to completely unplug my cable TV. I did it successfully for two solid years (this was before I got married). And I have to say, that it was a Golden Age for me. A period of productivity and life enjoyment that I never had before or since. Much like smokers find it impossible to quit smoking when they are living with other smokers, as much as I'd like to once again go completely cold turkey on TV, I live with other TV watchers. So for now, I have to just do my best to monitor and restrict my useless TV watching.

Anyway, here's a great video about how we use our time and how to carve out part of your life to accomplish cool stuff.


Sheryl Tuttle said...

I must be an oddity as I don't believe I waste time with TV. I will usually put the TV on at night and fall asleep to a Friends or Seinfield rerun (or an equally brainless sitcom like Two and A Half Men - depends on what time I go to bed). Otherwise a few days a week I might put on 15-20 minutes of TV while I eat lunch and catch the news or watch Ellen, depending on the time of my lunch. That's pretty well it.

I've never seen Lost, Gossip Girl, House, One Tree Hill, or Smallville (although I have caught parts of Smallville and think I might like this one). Never have I watched Family guy, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, or Heroes (although I might like that one too). I don't believe I have ever watched a whole episode of American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. I just really don't watch much TV... although it is frequently on (when the rest of the family is home) and I have seen bits and pieces of various shows as I walk by.

Unfortunately, I don't think less TV is the solution to more productive time for me. I'm not sure where my time wasters are.

Didn't mean to make such a long comment.

Vic DiGital said...

(I don't think there's any such thing as too long of a comment).

For me, I've pretty much got my TV timewasting under control. The only time I watch anything is by appointment. It helps to have a DVR where you can record stuff and watch it later at your leisure and fast-forward through all the commercials, thus turning a 60 minute timewaster into a 43 minute timewaster. The only shows I watch are Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Office, and 30 Rock and the occasional sporting event. But usually with sports, I'm also doing something else at the same time.

But yes, timewasters are going to be different for everyone. While the video focused on TV specifically (and for most people, I'm sure it's their primary timewaster), I looked at it more in general in that if we REALLY want to do something (say...write a book), we'll find the time and realize that there are things we are doing that have no value.