Cal in his post, shares a wonderful essay about a professional sport climber who ditched social media and improved her career. Both posts, from Cal and Madison are really good reads. Be sure to check out the comments too, especially on Cal's post.
It was then that Madison’s athletic career moved to the next level. “There’s nobody I’m here to perform for,” she writes. “I just train and silently work on achieving my own definition of success.”
That quote above made me reconsider keeping my blog “public”. By that I mean having my posts show up on the read.write.as feed. I sometimes feel that I'm performing for someone when my posts show up on the read.write.as feed. Like I'm in a competition, trying to keep up with everyone else.
The piece that separates this strategy from the increasingly popular digital-detox concept is that it’s not just about what you avoid but also about figuring out what you should do with your time instead. Stepping away from distracting technology while making no effort to replace it with something better invites backsliding. Seeking meaningful alternatives is so crucial that in Digital Minimalism I suggest that people map out detailed leisure plans to break down their goals, such as achieving a new personal record or finishing a craft project, into weekly milestones and daily habits.
Agreed. Can you imagine doing even just a weekend (2 days) of digital detox without any plans on how to entertain yourself during that time frame? It won't work. You'll be bored to death. Before embarking on any digital detox or digital minimalism attempt, you need to decide on what to do with your free time.
Mr. Rheingans is betting that we have this wrong. His experiment is premised on the idea that once you remove time-wasting distractions and constrain inefficient conversation about your work, five hours should be sufficient to accomplish most of the core activities that actually move the needle.
You know what, Mr. Rheingans might be on to something here. In my experience, when I've been working productively throughout the day, it is usually at the 5 hour mark that my brain starts slowing down. It is about that time when I would go to the break room, drink some water and think to myself, “my brain is fried.” Problem is, I still had 3 hours to go.