I tend to read too much online, surfing idly, reading industry publications, spawning legions of browser tabs, skimming things, saving things for later and never coming back to them. My ability to read long pieces gradually atrophies, and time that could have otherwise been used for creation is, well, consumed by consumption. In an effort to bring my habit to the surface and get on top of it, I decided to tally by hand every browser tab I closed until I had a page's worth.
Well, I read a fair few web pages between 12th February and 19th March, but as it turned out, half of those were spent in work's ticket-tracking website. But still, 1,700+ of them.
Did the manual tallying work? Initially, yes. But then I began to sense that I risked adding a new habit that would amplify the original one: it was starting to become a game of feed the tally-list, a delicious chore-ladder. It's like that thing of putting items on your todo list that you've already done, so you can have a tiny and immediate quantum of un-deferred GTD-pleasure of ticking them off. (I do that too sometimes.)
So I've stopped doing the tallying now, and am reading a bit less. And I have started writing a little bit more.