Jun 25, 2020


What is me-time? This is a question I'm pondering about. 

These are the activities I earlier considered as me-time:
reading, browsing my phone (Instagram, Youtube), browsing my laptop (articles, blogs), watching movies.
I've started to take a different perspective these days.
Me-time is when I'm with myself and my thoughts without any distractions.
All the activities I had listed above are not really my thoughts. I'm investing my time and energy in the thoughts of others in the form of books, movies and social media updates. These are filtered information that is being shared. There are quite a few insights that I have gleaned from these sources over the years. But only when I started incorporating those insights in my life, I learned more about what works and what doesn't work for my situation.

Learning from others doesn't give a complete picture of the context. What we see/hear/read is only the final outcome that a person shares on any platform. This blogpost is a filtered output of my thoughts on how I have started to interpret me-time.

Let's take social media as an example - we only share what we want others to see. We don't share a complete view of us - the good, the bad and the ugly. Firstly, it is humanly impossible to share each and everything that happens in our day-to-day lives. Even if we roam around with a camera on hand all the time, we filter and show only the parts of our day which we feel like sharing.

When we see a post, our mind immediately creates a perception of the person sharing that post. These perceptions are shortcuts that our mind creates to categorize people. This happens subconsciously based on our beliefs, the environment we grew up in and many other factors.

These mental shortcuts are useful for us to foresee any danger and be prepared to fight/flight. But they can also mislead us and we might end up forming false perceptions of a person. "Don't judge a book by its cover" equivalent of "Don't judge a person based on what he/she shares on social media", if I may say so.

Recently, I had assumed something about a person based on what she shared on her social media feed but later when I realized the assumption was wrong, I felt a tinge of disappointment.

My point is that we try to grab our "me-time" from our loved ones, in order to scroll through our phones and absorb these false perceptions created on social media. Same goes with youtube channels where many people show their perfectly crafted lives in the form of vlogs but the reality is totally different. 

Yes, we can take inspiration from many people but a mere collection of ideas will not take us anywhere. As I reflect deeper, the books I love the most are those from which I have been able to incorporate certain ideas into my work or personal life. 

I'm trying to be more mindful and conscious of my "content consumption" these days. I have started to ask myself the following questions:

How much time I'm spending on consumption?
What is the quality of the content I'm consuming? Is it worth my time?
How much is the quantity of the content I'm consuming? Is it worth the context switch I'm experiencing, consuming on a wide range of topics?
How do I feel after consuming the content? Is it triggering or influencing my emotions in any way?
What are the learnings/takeaways from the content consumed? How do I plan to apply the same?

As I'm reducing my content consumption patterns, I'm also trying to grab me-time opportunities where I'm with my thoughts completely. An important idea I learned in my minimalism workshop with Durgesh Nandhini is this - "Chores are a form of meditation with eyes open". This statement was an eye-opener. Though I never detested doing chores at home, I never thought of it from this perspective.

Thanks to lockdown, I'm more engaged in household chores for which I had a house-help earlier. I'm also now making sure that I don't multitask while doing chores. I used to proclaim, "multitasking is my strength" but I now seek out opportunities to focus completely on a single task at hand without any distractions.

My me-time is now shifted to the following activities:
  • Cooking
  • Washing dishes
  • Sweeping and mopping
  • Folding clothes
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Yoga and Pranayama
  • Walking (no step counters, no music, no podcasts, no audiobooks)
  • Sitting quietly without doing anything - toughest one but I'm trying 🙂
What is me-time according to you?

P.S. The structure of this blog post came to me while washing dishes last evening :-)

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