I‘ve decided to no longer invest my time into consuming “conspiracy theories” or information that doesn’t foreseeably affect the outcome of my life’s ambitions. The energy I spend consuming information shouldn’t be at random and should lead to an end goal where something tangible is the outcome. Basically whatever I consume should be in direct correlation to what I produce.

Since I was a kid I’ve always been interested in solving random mysteries of the world. I collected a ton books on the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and aliens and spent most of time reading non-fiction. I even tried to solve the murders of Tupac & Biggie, pouring over hip-hop magazines and watching tv about the cases. To this day I still find myself fixated on things of this nature. Though the subjects are more based in real world applications, they’re still not always good for productivity, albeit very interesting.

It hit me the other day that it serves my life no purpose to invest time into learning these types of things. The time I spent learning about anyone of those things could’ve went towards learning a new skill that would’ve added much more value to my life in the long run. I thought about how consuming things that don’t DIRECTLY add the most value to my life is no better than a person that sits and reads celebrity gossip all day or watches 5 hours of tv a night.

The most insidious part of me consuming so much bullshit information is that for awhile I actually believed that I was ALWAYS reading valuable information. Because of how I viewed myself, I was biased in that I thought most of what I consumed was beneficial to myself. Luckily I was able to become aware of this cognitive bias and realize that some structure had to be implemented to discipline my learning. It helps to be critical of yourself for self awareness and growth to occur more frequently.

I’ve created a simple framework for observing ones own activities with a critical eye. By holding your habits up to this framework you should be able to make the correct assessment for where you are best allocating your time.

Framework

  • Does it physically make me healthier?
  • Does it get me closer to the things I want to accomplish in life?
  • Does it help me add value to the people around me and to the rest of the world in general?

Can you remember the actual moment you decided what you would love to spend your time doing everyday?

We’re born and then we die. But what did you spend your time doing in between? In America, a few years after we’re born we get enrolled into school. From ages 5 until about 18 we spend eight hours of our days sitting in a classroom. Throw in an extra 3 to 5 hours for related extracurricular activities and commutes. We’re even required to do extra work at home to bring back to school! Throw in a social life, family responsibilities & sleep and your days are pretty much filled.

After you graduate you must then make a decision. Go to school for 4+ years or join the workforce. Either way another 10 to 14 hours of your day is then partitioned to these institutions. Some people also start intimate relationships thus giving away more time and brain power/emotional investment. Some have kids thus rendering a permanent partition of time and brain power investment to that child. Some people begin to buy houses, cars and other expensive liabilities that take up space in their minds and personal time.


All of the things that impact your time also impact the way that you think. (Your schema)

Even when you’re not working at your job, you’re probably still thinking about your day when you get off. The same goes for school when you go home to study in order to pass an upcoming test. The vacations and breaks in between don’t count because you inherently know that you’re going back. You’re constantly thinking about the relationships in your life because you’re emotionally tied to the people you spend time with. If you had a child then attention is permanently split to ensure the wellbeing of that child. All of these things take away from moments of rumination about how you would actually spend your days if nothing else was contingent upon your attention.

When does that person ever get a chance to stop EVERYTHING and really ask themselves what they want to do for the rest of their lives?

If you didn’t have to pay this bill or take care of this person, what would you do everyday? If you didn’t feel like you were required to show up to a certain location everyday, what would you CHOOSE to do?