Source: http://teachinglearnerswithmultipleneeds.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-thought-experiment.html

Me and my wife went on a long Europe trip in the first 2 weeks of June 2017. Once we came back, we were so tired after socializing with so many awesome people for long periods of time, that we reached a state of physical and mental burn out. By this point, I had already been reading different books and listening to various podcasts on mindfulness and productivity. So, I told my wife “Hey! Lets do an experiment”.

Over the past 5 years, we have watched a lot of mind numbing TV (Basically Netflix and Hulu) that the only thing we did coming back from work was to watch TV, sit by the couch and feel even more mentally tired. That being said, I told my wife “Lets NOT watch TV for 2 weeks and see how it goes?. There is no better time to do it then now, where we do not want to hear anyone talking for a while”. My wife agreed and this has what happened since then

  • Finished 9 books covering topics of ProductivityMindfulness, Self-help and motivation. You can find my reading list here – Books I read
  • Discovered a great Podcast named BeyondtheToDoList . I got so addicted to it that I have already listened to about 147 episodes till now. This is a great podcast because I learnt so many tips, tricks, books, other podcasts which revolved around my now favorite topics Mindfulness and Productivity. I totally recommend this to anyone who is in a similar situation as me or want to learn how to strategize your life, be a little less anxious, put in less effort and get more results
  • Started doing meditation more regularly with an amazing app called “Headspace“. I am the most skeptical person you would ever meet as I am a “Software Tester” by profession and with that in mind, I can confidently say this is the best meditation app I have ever used (I have tried about 10 meditation apps before) as it is so simple and easy to use. There is this Buddhist Monk guy turned SFO Entrepreneur – Andy Puddicombe who gives you the guided meditation exercises and takes you through the process step by step via the app. The sexy british accent is a plus.  I have been fighting with this on and off for the past year and half; to do meditation daily but now it is starting to slowly become a habit because of my experiment where I have a lot of time in my hand
  • I have To/Do Lists and prioritize them. Use a mixture of Evernote, Notes and physical pen/paper (More to come on this topic)
  • Every weekend I plan all my work and put it up on Google Calendar. Me and my wife have our own personal calendars. Apart from this, we also have a shared calendar
  • Working out regularly by waking up at 5 AM almost every day (Long weekends are usually slightly rough as there is a lot of beer involved 🙂 and also having great and meaningful conversations with family and friends )
  • Doing more mindful eating and drinking. Started drinking tea or sparkling water in the evenings 3 times/week, then my usual beer about 3-4 times/week (Just to be clear, I am not an alcoholic, just a curious beer drinker 🙂 )
  • I actually stop and say Hi to people inside/outside work. I have made it a goal to talk to at least 2 ppl in a day and ask them how they are doing and actually listen to them
  • Started using the “Moment” app which tracks the amount of time I spend on my phone and tracks lot more data regarding my phone usage. I have started to be really mindful about this and try to use my phone for less than 1hr 30mins/day (Before it was about 3.5 hours)
  • Started scheduling my e-mail checking time to 4 times a day. I DO NOT check e-mails any other time apart from these scheduled times. They range from early morning, before staring working, after lunch, then before I leave work
  • Started to put my phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode when I am working. To get more deep focus and meaning on what I am doing
  • Started to put time slots where I can do “Deep work” on my high priority things. Read the book of the same name and you will know what I am talking about
  • Started to appreciate the little things around me like the weather, people smiling, the plants we are growing in our downtown apartment etc.

And the journey is continuing. We started this experiment on June 19th, 2017. Although, this was supposed to last only for 2 weeks, we started liking this way of life and have been extending it through September (may extend for more months, only time will tell).

The reason I have started blogging on these topics (apart from my Software Testing Blog) is, I wanted to do journal my experiments not only on my notepad but share it with other people too; with the hope that people can get ideas out of it and realize everyone is suffering through the same kind of problems.

I know I may sound too Zen to some people but it is definitely having a positive impact on me and my wife’s life. More to come…

NOTE: If you are doing similar kind of experiments and willing to share it with me or have any feedback on my posts, please feel free to comment or contact me here – http://www.rajsubra.com/contact/

UPDATES SINCE

Dec 27th, 2017-

  • Watched 3 movies and have been continuing to watch ONLY basketball games
  • Still no Hulu, Netflix or TV shows

Oct 25th, 2017 –

  • I had to watch the Cavs play, so renewed my NBA TV subscription. I have watched 2 games since Oct 17th. But, I still have Netflix and Hulu subscription on pause

Oct 5th, 2017 –

  • We still haven’t watched TV (including my wife)
  • We temporarily stopped Netflix and Hulu Subscription. They have this cool “Pause” option we used so that we do not lose our entire history if we decide to start it back again
  • I should admit and say that I watch about 2 movies every month (either in theatre or at home). I also sneaked in about 15 mins of HGTV during a recent conference trip in DC
  • I love Basketball and my favorite team the “Cleveland Cavaliers” are starting there regular season game on Oct 17th. Still debating whether to renew my NBA TV subscription and just ONLY watch the games. Still confused…..