How I Fared With My “Limit Passive Entertainment” Experiment [August 2019]

A couple of months back, I realized that I was binge-watching Netflix shows and following too many vloggers on YouTube. It was eating into my productivity and sleep. I wanted to stop it so when a family member nudged me about it, I took definitive action.

I killed my Netflix subscription, on July 31 and decided to limit my passive entertainment to 2 hours or less during August. 

And, with it began my “limit passive entertainment” experiment.

Why I Allowed 2 Hours

I know 2 hours is a lot but I wanted to reduce it gradually from a point of devouring entire a Netflix series in 2-3 days.

I failed at the experiment if you are just interested in the result. 

But there is more to it, read on to learn. 

Why These Experiments?

All of my growth has come from trying new things in life.

Ideas can be useful and motivate us, but without trying out these ideas we won’t know if they work. Even if ideas are time-tested without applying them in our lives we won’t see any improvements. That’s why these experiments.

Sharing the results forces me to take the experience seriously. And, by sharing my observations, I hope that you’ll be able to try these ideas and experiments yourself.

This is the eight experiment of 2019.

For now, I will share the results of the experiments after completing them. In the future, I may announce public experiments and invite you to try a new experiment with me.

I am listing all experiments with results on this dedicated experiment page.

I would also love to hear about your current or past experiments where you have tried implementing a new idea in your life.

The Results

I started logging my results for this experiment from 13th Aug, and as per my log recorded 8 days of limited passive entertainment. 

By the standards, I have set for myself (adherence for 12 days in a month to succeed at such an experiment) I failed. But I see light because I was able to start something which I consider an important change in my life.

What I Learned and Why I failed

  • I realized the video is addictive.
  • To succeed in an undertaking like this, I need to log my progress from the beginning.
  • In this case, the first fortnight of the month was a blur with too much going on, so I waited until the middle of the month to start logging the results. When you see the number in the log you are motivated to do better and because I started late I never saw a big enough number to excite me. The only solution I see is to start early and log everything.
  • My biggest mistake was to settle on a small goal. It is a mental block that I need to get over. I have set myself a goal of 12 sessions to pass. This means that I was only aiming to do it for 12 days. I should be shooting for all days in a month or at least 21 days. This will make me more likely to succeed in future experiments.

An Insight and A Small Win

To remove passive entertainment from your life, replace it with an active form of entertainment. It helps as a transition aid because when going through transition you need one. 

Towards the end of the experiment, I started going out to spend time with nature. I didn’t do it for long because soon after I caught a fever and was down for some time. But I plan to start it again.

That’s it from me. 

Let me know if you are trying to improve something in your life.