A friend recently asked me, given my meaning of life and nobility list, how I justify for myself watching super bubblegum TV. At the same time, how does one resist watching such TV when it's right there and so tempting?
If you're new to this blog I recommend reading my short posts on the meaning of life and the nobility list first.
Discipline is the first answer. If you take the nobility list seriously, and just be disciplined about it, then you won't watch TV or do mindless things very often-- only when you really need it to recharge your batteries, metaphorically speaking. But if you have a lot of willpower, will you, in practice, ever get to watch Strange Brew again?
Part of the reason I'm able to keep up such productivity and also watch Strange Brew over and over again is because I take Saturdays off. That is, the endeavours list is for work time, the nobility list is for leisure time, and Saturdays are completely off. That is, I work Sunday through Friday every week, and in the afterhours I use the nobility list (I do not allow myself to work at home). But I'm able to be disciplined about this because I know that when Saturday comes I'll be able to do absolutely anything I want.
More specifically, not only do I not work on Saturday, even if I feel like working, but I do whatever I most feel like doing in the moment (except work). I cannot even run errands, clean, or do shopping I don't want to do. If I want to watch the same Brady Bunch episode over and over again, or a pug that is confused video, I can. It helps because if, during the week, I am tempted to watch this stuff, it helps to know that I will be able to do it all I want on Saturday. I'm also reluctant to book Saturdays with anything that I'm not sure will be a real blast. If I've got the second season of Battlestar Galactica in front of me, and it's tempting me, I just look forward to my reward on Saturday, during which I could watch the entire season if I wanted to.
In my normal "free time," the nobility list is a harsh mistress, and you need a break from her once in a while. Since I work so hard most of the time, it's great to have a day completely to myself.
Another question about my nobility list: Where does socializing fit in? I realized that there is an implicit assumption about the list, and that is that it's stuff I do at home alone. I can't just choose to socialize with friends, because they might be busy. Regarding where socializing fits in terms of nobility, however, I'd have to say it depends on what's being talked about. Figuring out a scientific problem is high, and talking about how great Strange Brew is ranks lower.