Super Sabbatical

Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite days. When it comes to the NFL, I'm a neutral, but I love the game, follow it closely, and enjoy the social aspects of the Super Bowl. Today's game marks the end of the season and the first in roughly a decade in which I didn't play fantasy football.

I'm a competitive, analytical guy, so it wasn't hard for me to dig into this game. For the most part, it's a lot of fun. The draft (conference, really) is the one time a year I'll see most of this group of friends. There is some in-season trash-talking that occasionally elevates the experience, too.

In the last few years, however, it just wasn't as much fun. Times were changing–I was busier than ever and needed to redirect energy in multiple facets of my life. And so this year I took a sabbatical. When I made the announcement, it wasn't well received, and at various points between then and the draft I was lobbied to change my mind. But, I stuck to it–no fantasy football, except the occasional group text or Facebook update from people. No podcasts or research. No manic Sundays glancing back and forth at the TV and my phone or laptop like a hockey goalie watching the puck.

In The Dip, Seth Godin talks about the importance of quitting in being not just successful, but exceptional. 

Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt.

In the last five months, over the course of this NFL season, I've grown immensely; I've enjoyed Sundays more than ever (and Thursday and Monday nights); I've had meaningful conversations, read interesting things, started writing more (and this blog), and spent actual time with people. It's not that one doesn't or can't do those things while playing fantasy football (or some other regular hobby). It's just that quitting, for me, made a lot of things easier. 

We live in an age when time and attention are scarce. Freeing up 30 minutes a day or a few hours a week can be life-changing. So, after the Super Bowl, I think I'll ask myself, "What else can I quit?"