One of the thought experiments I regularly apply to myself is asking “if I could pick only 10 [insert object], what would I choose?” Obviously, for certain objects like phones or smart devices this wouldn’t help as I have fewer than 10 (thank goodness!) but for things like books, apps on my phone, websites I visit, podcasts and so on, it is really useful.
In some cases it is tough to choose so few (phone apps being a great example) I can always seem to come up with a reason why I need this item, which usually starts with “just in case [insert highly unlikely/rare event] happens”. However, in some cases the opposite is true. In some cases it can actually be difficult to think of 10 items. That is what happened to me when I asked myself that question about the podcasts I listen to.
When it is difficult to pick even 10
I don’t think I listen to 10 weekly podcasts at the moment but over the last year I’ve had over 10 podcasts in my subscription feed. So I set myself the challenge and ran into a problem straight away. After about four podcasts, I had a hard time justifying including any more. Sure they were good fun most of the time but I could easily skip an episode or two. What’s more, they often repeated similar topics and discussions from other podcasts. Then there were some podcasts which were basically just long advertisements. Truth was, I wasn’t actually that attached to many of the podcasts I had in my feed.
So I removed most of them
The funny things was, then I made a list of ten podcasts I’d like to “try” and guess what. I filled it in under two minutes. If I had done that second list first, I don’t think I could have tried them all, but realising I didn’t actually like that many podcasts all that much helped me create the space I need to try different shows. Maybe they’ll stick, maybe they won’t we’ll see.
I love doing this pick 10 exercise because it either gets me to think about what I really need and how likely the just in case situations are, or it helps me realize just how little I like, value or need something.
If you feel like a challenge then why not try it yourself. Choose only 10:
– TV programmes
– figures of influence