Time for a Diet

When we think of dieting, it’s usually to combat some short term phenomenon (eg, I want to lose weight). Diets are by definition temporary. Longer term approaches that seek to modify behaviors can be more enduring and pay handsome dividends (increased confidence, lifespan, health, etc…) but they take real commitment.

As I think about diets and commitment, I’ve taken an important (and first) step: awareness of consumption. The diet du jour for me is mmm, mmm, media! How I love you so: much more distracting, coy and diverse than you used to be only ten years ago. I’ve let you run wild and now it’s my turn to regain control!

In the past few years, I’d estimate my media consumption roughly breaks down as follows (but who really knows- Fitbit for media, anyone?):

– 40% Professional/trade pubs and blogs, mostly all interactive

– 30% Video/music; this is mostly Netflix followed by podcasts, cinema and music. Occasional cat vids.

– 20% The Economist, New Yorker, WSJ and NY Times

– 10% books (paper/kindle); I think this is what hipsters now call long-form journalism?

I’m embarrassed by the above. Really, I am. The combination of running a business and more gratification only clicks away has fueled this. Before the omni-webs when I was working, professional/industry reading was far less. But maybe my bias is telling me what I want to believe.

Now it’s high time to reset. My new goals for the next six months or so:

– 60% books (paper/kindle)

– 30% podcasts/music

– 10% newspaper/magazine (print and digital)

If you take out the work bit, it obviously gets easier to change the diet. Trimming down on current affairs is hard as I lose a feeling of connection with the world, but by spending more time in books understanding history, I can better put topical stuff in context. What about you? Historical consumption? Time for a diet?

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