I told myself this week I’d go on a media fast and only check my email once a day. Freeing myself of distractions isn’t a new concept. I first heard of extreme media fasting from Timothy Ferriss in the Four Hour Work Week. I read Tim’s approach of completely disconnecting well over three years ago, but it was only two weeks ago when the concept finally sunk in. I was staffing a birthright trip and unable to check my email. Over the course of 10 days I had a grand total of 10 minutes to check my email in two 5 minute sessions. And I did. There were two or three pressing emails that needed responses and everything else could wait.
When I got to my sister’s place on the eleventh day, I spent three straight hours and successfully got through 10 day’s worth of email. While 4 or 5 needed to be tabled for later (tonight) I got through all of the rest. Rather than spending five minutes every hour of every day wasting time on them, hoping to not miss anything important, I did 10 days in a single three hour session.
It was amazing.
There were 600 unread articles in my blog queue. I went through Daring Fireball, as I’m just enough of a nerd to need to check up on why Gruber loves Apple this week, and then decided it wasn’t worth it. I’d just spent a week traveling across a country, answering spiritual questions, partying by night, and actually inspiring a couple of people. Compared to that, checking blogs just seemed to be a waste of time.
So I decided I wouldn’t. We’ll see how this experiment ends up going. Check email once a day and blogs as little as physically possible. I’m at a loss for what I’m supposed to do without those two time wasters filling my time. Read real books? Actually write? Play a video game or two? Watch worthwhile movies? Point being, I have no idea.
I’m told 28 days makes a habit. Meaning, this should prove to be an interesting month. Let the fast begin.