The average American spends 608 hours on social media and 1642 hours watching television, in one year. That’s a combined 2250 hours that could be put to much better use, because, let’s be real, how much time spent on social media is to meet a productive end and how much of it is spent zombie scrolling? (You know, mindlessly moving your cursor down the page, but not truly consuming any information?)

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Imagine converting those zombie scrolling hours into a productive task. What task would it be?

Well, as this is a website dedicated to books, I’m going to assume all of you want to convert zombie scrolling into reading. However, household chores, going for a walk, calling up your grandma, reading a newspaper, or solving a puzzle, these are all ideas to fill those zombie scrolling hours with more fulfilling activities.

Successful businessman, Warren Buffett has attributed his monumental success to reading (actual reading, not clicking links on Twitter). The more you read, the more knowledge you gain. Buffett says, “[Knowledge] builds up like compound interest,” and Buffett claims to read 500 pages a day. That’s a lot of knowledge and a lot of reading, but he says anyone can do it. The problem is, most people won’t.

What does it take, then, to transform a mastered zombie scrolling habit?

 

First, You Have To Want It.

You have to want to read and accrue knowledge. If you’re reading just so you can say, “I read 500 pages today, just like Warren Buffett,” then you’re going to run out of momentum.  It might be a good idea to take a week, before you begin, and do a little social media detoxing. During that time, write down what you hope to achieve from reading 500 pages a day. Maybe start with a smaller goal of 100 pages, and work your way up. Then, visualize yourself freed from the addiction to zombie scrolling. Do you want it now?

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Next, Find The Time

Besides just replacing zombie scrolling with reading, you’re going to have to consider what other areas of your day can be revitalized with some reading. Think of some times during your day that you consider empty time, like when you’re waiting in the lobby at the Doctor’s office. Or when you’re waiting on your significant other to get ready for your date. Turn that empty time into reading time!

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Lastly, And Probably Obviously, Put The Plan Into Action

This is the hard part. It’s going to take some careful consideration of your daily routine. It might be useful to keep a journal of how often you’re checking social media, then you can look back and visibly see what times of the day you could be reading.

It’s also helpful to eliminate distractions, both in your physical environment and on your electronic devices.

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Replacing a bad habit with a good one is not easy, but it might help to think of it like this: you’re replacing an unfulfilling habit with a fulfilling one! What could be better than that?

YouTube Channel: Thomas Frank

 

Featured image via Digs Digs

h/t Quartz