Paradox of Choice

When I set out to find more balance and to find some new hobbies and interests, I figured it would be a process of "wherever the winds may take me." I would just see what sparked my interest in the moment and go do that. Oh how wrong I was.

I did a decent job at carving out time this week to do things, but when the time came to do those things, I had literally no idea what to do with that time. So, obviously, I just went back to doing what I normally do: I watched hours and hours of YouTube and Netflix.

On the one hand, the pure fact that I stopped working, relaxed on the couch, and watched TV rather than spending an extra 4-5 hours at my desk was massive progress. At a minimum, I've taken some baby steps toward not working every waking hour of the week. It wasn't every day, but the week did feel more balanced.

On the other hand, I watched at least 20 hours of TV this week. It may actually be more. I'm not saying I want to eliminate TV altogether. I actually really enjoy it and it's when I can actually relax my brain, but 20+ hours is a lot.

This week, I've realized I need to treat this change the same way I did with my goal to eat more real food: I need to make it so simple that I can just go do it without even thinking.

Weekly Review:

Last week, I decided my first step would be to track my time. Here are the results:

  • I got about 8 hours of sleep every night.
  • I worked an average of 8.1 hours per day. This includes 3 hours on Sunday and some 9- and 11-hour days. I don't usually know when a day is going to go long until it does.
  • I spent ~15.5 hours of "Life" things, which includes cooking, cleaning, errands, and the like. This was much higher than usual because of putting away Christmas decorations and spending 4+ hours with Google trying to troubleshoot a new device.
  • I calculated about 24 hours of "Free" time. As I mentioned, 20+ of that was consuming some sort of media. I did, however, go for a quick walk to the beach the other day when it snowed.

Wins for the week:

  • I cooked and ate breakfast every morning.
  • I ate "real food" for all but 2 meals.
  • I finally put my Christmas decorations away.
  • I took Penny for a walk to the beach.
  • I didn't get the omicron.

Mehs for the week:

  • The stock market has been crap, so my usual morning routine of market open monitoring/trading has been on pause. I'm trying not to look and just leave my automated things running.
  • The omicron is everywhere, so I've been avoiding people in general.

Changes for next week:

  • Keep sleep as-is.
  • My work day average is 8 hours, but the day-to-day is very uneven. I need to think about this one some more. Last week and next week are also a bit anomalous in terms of what's on my work schedule, so they may not be a good indication. For this next week, I'm going to track time again and see how things shake out.
  • I want to cut TV time by 1/3. On the days where I'm working late, I'm absolutely fine with vegging on the couch for an hour or two to decompress and be able to fall asleep better. On the other days, I don't think that's as necessary, so I want to find other things to do during that time instead.

Goals for next week:

  • Develop a short list of "go-to" things for when I have free time. My aim here is to be able to quickly pick a thing and go do it with minimal thought.
  • I skipped HelloFresh this week for some weird reason that made sense at the time. Despite not having the meals easily on-hand, I want to continue my goal of eating real food.
  • Continue to use my new task management system in Notion.
  • Stay 'rona-free.