Only things that serve me

I love a lot of things. That’s my schtick. I subscribe to a lot of different podcasts. I listen to a variety of music. I like all kinds of books. Diversity is my true nature became one of my mantras last year when I decided to embrace that I am not just one thing, but I am many. I have examples that date back to high school, but I suspect it’s been a lifelong thing. I like change, I like things to be different, I feel stifled when I have to do the same thing over and over. So, I switch things up. I (used to?) read several books at the same time, I watch tv while I write or alternate between tasks instead of sticking to just one at a time, even when doing so means they take longer to complete.

I’ve started to recognize that there may be value in focusing more closely on what I’m doing and on becoming more intentional. It’s been a theme this week – in email, in apps and websites and now I’m going to broaden that to include some of the ways I spend my time.

I used to be subscribed to something like ninety podcasts. Someone would tell me about a podcast they liked and I’d subscribe. I’d have hundreds of podcast episodes in my player and I’d skip from one to the next to the next without much discernment, to be honest. I’d listen to anything. Most often, I’d listen on my walk to work every day and on my walk home. That’d give me about 55 minutes worth of listening time per day and since I was listening to most playing at 1.5 speed or even faster, I even packed in a few extra minutes’ worth of content. My favourite podcasts were about or promoting happiness, spirituality, healthy relationships, leadership. But in the mess of overpopulated episode lists, I’d end up listening to those ones rarely while making time for other topics that, if I was honest, sounded interesting when other people related them to me, but weren’t the way I wanted to spend my time.

Late last year, I’d thought to myself that when I start walking again (the cold/dark time of year dictated that I hitched a ride with Kevin more often than not) I would only subscribe to/download podcasts that contributed to my greater goal of feeling good, healthy and productive. Right now, I’m subscribed to eight with an additional one downloaded as a trial. It feels good. Every episode I listen to is one I want to hear and every time one ends, I feel like a better person.

In this instance it’s working, but it got me wondering about other areas of my life where I may be squandering my attention. With open eyes I’m reassessing my decisions on all fronts.

Where could you be more discerning with your choices about how you spend your time?

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