If 2012 is to be better than 2011, I need to do a better job of controlling intake. Garbage In: Garbage Out is the old computer phrase. This is true in nutrition as well as information. It occurs to me that most of us would benefit from a food and information diet. Consider implementing these intake procedures:
1. Record your intake. I have the feeling that if I made an accurate measurement of the food and the information I consume I would be shocked. Not only do I take in too much, but the quality of my intake is not real good. Try this for a brief period, a month, a week, or even a day. Record everything you consume. For food, that’s relatively easy. It’s impossible to record every piece of information you absorb, so just try noting the major things: Television programs, radio programs, Internet sites, conversations, books, articles. The good thing about doing this is that the mere act of making a record will force us to change our habits. Before we make a note of something we are about to eat, or a piece of information we are about to absorb, considering the consequences may cause us to decide to skip it or to substitute something that would be better for us. A piece of vegetable instead of candy bar. A chapter of scripture instead of a sitcom we’ve seen several times already.
2. Cancel our smorgasbord. A Smorgasbord is a buffet meal of various hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, salads,casserole dishes, meats, cheeses, etc.. Most of us keep our pantry stocked with all kinds of stuff. It’s like we’re afraid we’ll get hungry and the object of our desire won’t be available. The information equivalent is probably our cable service. I know in our house we subscribe to every available channel in case there is all of a sudden something great on a channel we never watch. This leads to channel surfing, just like the full pantry leads to pantry surfing, looking for something to consume. Wouldn’t we do much better if we were deliberate about our consumption. If we made a thoughtful choice about what we should consume, and then acquire the necessary ingredients.
In this area, I admire what my daughter in law does. She doesn’t subscribe to cable. She spends a fraction of the cost of cable on Netflix. Each viewing decision is a deliberate and usually wise one, instead of just watching “what’s on.”
3. Schedule some output. As I discussed a couple of days ago. Most of us are almost completely consumption oriented we don’t produce anything. We should deliberately schedule some creation time, whether it’s physical, mental or spiritual output. Producing something is much better for us and the world around us than just consuming stuff.
What about it? Are you ready to take control of your input?
I hope I am.