The 30-day Challenge: What Can You Accomplish in One Month?

What’s your favorite TV show?one-hour-ux

Is it “The Voice”? “Monday Night Football”? Maybe a reality TV show like “Big Brother”? Take a moment to think about it… what show is your weekly go-to?

For me, it’s “Gotham”, an hour-long series every Monday night on FOX. I love the way the characters are gradually being introduced… it creates suspense that the on-going plot is building toward a future comic book crescendo.

Ok. Did you think of your weekly digital reality escape? Now I admit, that was kind of a trick question. And I’ll tell you why in a moment.

First, though: I saw a Facebook post from Mark Zuckerberg that he had the opportunity to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping. Zuck conducted his part of the conversation entirely in Chinese.

Mark zuckerbergHow on Earth are Zuckerberg’s conversation and my favorite TV show possibly connected?!” you ask. A fair question. And now I’ll tell you.

I’ve given a lot of thought to my own TV habits. Admittedly, I watch more than just Gotham. In fact, I probably watch an hour or two of TV per evening. Over the course of one month, that adds up to 30 to 60 hours – all in the name of entertainment. Time I could spend doing… more.

More for me. More for my career. More for those around me.

Like Zuck.

I’ll guess Zuckerberg isn’t Chinese, and that he didn’t grow up speaking that language. (I’m psychic. I know.) Which means he became fluent – enough so that he felt confident holding a conversation with a world leader in his native language – in Chinese while at the same time running a little company called Facebook.

And then there’s me… binge-watching Mad Men, saying: “Ugh. I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do!”

30 to 60 hours per month. Spent on television. What a huge time-suck! (“I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do!” Add echo effect, here.)

Granted Zuck is smarter than your average bear. So maybe learning Chinese while running Facebook was easy for him. But the point is still valid. And it’s not to berate you for watching TV or whatever is your reality escape. Instead, the point is to create awareness. And to encourage you to do… more.

We do have the time and ability to learn more, and to do more for ourselves and our careers.

But it isn’t the easiest choice. It isn’t a reality escape.

It’s a choice.

30 Day ChallengeOver the holidays, in just an hour per day for 30 days, you could be well on your way to learning a new skill. Chinese. Or HTML. Or a skill you’re lacking in that third bullet down in the job description you recently read.

Or you could develop 10 or 20 or 30 business networking relationships on Twitter, or Facebook, or LinkedIn, or Instagram. (Sorry, Tinder and Grindr “relationships” don’t count).

What are you waiting for? Begin your 30-day challenge. And become a better professional, and perhaps a better person.

Hmmmm… I wonder what I’ll have learned from Gotham 30 days from now…


Dave EllisAbout the Author: Dave Ellis is an original member of the YouTern team and is instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). Dave serves as YouTern’s Content and Community Manager, and enjoys his role as the company’s “Man Behind the Curtain”. In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals. Connect with Dave on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter!

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