“I’d rather binge watch Netflix than see a book I wrote on a shelf in a store.”

“I’d rather follow the plots of seven different television shows than cut the grand opening ribbon at a store I own.”

“I’d rather play Candy Crush than get in shape.”

“I’d rather stare at my phone until I get lost in a digital haze than build a relationship with the people I’m actually in the same room with.”

No one ever says horrible things like this.

No one ever makes such proclamations.

At least not with our mouths.

Most of us declare things like that with hands though.

Most of us proclaim things like that with our calendars.

Most of us shout things like that with our phones.

Most of us would cringe if we were honest for 30 seconds about the things we donate our time to.

That’s the scary thing. None of the things I mentioned above take our time. We give it to them.

Which is actually not such a scary thing at all when you think about it, because it means at any moment, you can stop giving them your time. You have that power. You don’t need permission from anyone. You get to make that decision.

I binge watched an entire season of Blacklist last fall in about 6 days. I can’t just watch one episode of a television show on Netflix, it’s like trying to eat one potato chip. Finally, I got tired of donating time to things that ultimately don’t matter.

That’s why I created the DO Summer checklist. I knew that when I was traveling and tempted to relax with some mindless hours of TV, that simple piece of paper would haunt me. I knew that sitting on an airplane, instead of playing Plants vs. Zombies, my go to app, I would think about that checklist. And I’d write. I’d read. I’d do the things I promised to do, because I wanted to finish 1,500 minutes of focused time this summer.

You don’t have to DO Summer with me. You might have a different tool that works for you, but if you don’t, download it today.

Be honest about where you’re donating your time. Don’t let your mouth shout a promise your calendar isn’t keeping. Do your work. You’re the one giving the gift of time to someone or something. Make sure it’s the best recipient.

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