Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Master List - Breaking Down Creations and Consumptions

I spent a fair amount of time thinking about what I want to count as "creation" and what I wanting to count as "consumption." For those of you interested in my thought process behind everything, here's the full list I've come up with so far. I'll update this if I make any changes before July 1st:

Writing - blog post, short story, working on my novel, etc.
Performing - improv or live storytelling set
Working on "Placebo" - a card game I created and am currently playtesting
Research on Writing/Performing/Game Design - with books, or online
Improv Practice - generally once a week for two hours
Writing Group Meeting - similarly once a week for two hours
Classes - any kind of writing or performance class I'm currently enrolled in

Video Games - Xbox, Wii, iPhone, any electronic game
Internet - Everything that is not email or some kind of research
Books - Again, anything considered leisure and not research
Newspapers / Magazines
Podcasts - I subscribe to way too many of these. 'Cause they're free!

Neutral Activities
My Day Job
Socializing with Friends & Family / Dating
Cooking / Eating

Gray Area Items / Exceptions
Board Games with Friends
Email / IM

The gray area items are the ones that gave me the most trouble, since it's pretty easy to label them all under the blanket of consumption. But after careful deliberation, I've decided to count them as an exception. Unlike every other form of media, I am actually able to focus and work while listening to music, so I'm not counting that. I play board games once a week with friends, and I've decided to label that as socializing time, not consumption. I'm also exempting them because unlike movies and TV shows, I actually couldn't play/experience them alone. Technically I guess I should say: I would no longer play them alone, since I actually did play boards games alone a very long time ago when I was young, desperate and unnaturally obsessed with Monopoly.

Email was the trickiest category, as I have been guilty of checking my email far too often as an excuse to not work. But I write and receive many important emails as part of my daily life, so I didn't feel right penalizing myself for something I can't really choose to avoid entirely. So I'm going to do my best to limiting myself to a handful of email checks per day, and if I stick to it, then it remains an exception. If I find myself replacing lost internet time with time spent instant messaging and looking through every little shred of data from emails from all the game and comedy sites I'm subscribed to, I'll adjust accordingly.

There are situations that I know are going to be tricky with this experiment once I start tracking my time. I come up with lots of ideas at random times, when I'm out running, when I'm dozing off/waking up, while I'm in the kitchen, and especially while I'm in the shower. Should I start the clock whenever I let my mind wander? It's tempting, but I think I'm going to only specifically count "creation" time when I've got my notepad (or iPhone) out and I'm actively writing down my thoughts. It's just easier to track this way. Conversely, if I've got nothing in particular to work on at the moment, I can sit down at my desk (or wherever I am) with just a pad and a pen and regardless of how many ideas I'm generating at that moment (I could wind up just doodling pictures of ninjas fighting dinosaurs) I'll still count that time as creation.

What do you guys think? Did I miss anything? Should I have not counted something the way I did?

And if you have your own list, let's see it! Post it in the comments.


No comments:

Post a Comment