Taking an internet vacation

Jamie Todd Rubin, Evernote ambassador and science fiction author, took an internet vacation and found out some interesting things. To see what he found out, check out this post on his blog.

About the vacation, Jamie said:

In case you haven’t been following along, I took last week off the Internet. My goal was to try to get some data on just how much time I waste on the Internet when I could be doing other things. The first thing I should admit is that I did peek once or twice at how much email had come in, but I didn’t actually look at any email. I also made use of the Internet for looking things up, but I made sure I only looked up the information I needed and then shut down. My goal was not to avoid the Internet for everything, just those places that I feel absorb a lot of my time: email, social networking sites, this blog, my RSS feeds, etc. Overall, I was very pleased with how much I was able to stay away and not be concerned about what I might be missing. In any case, here are some things I learned on my Internet Vacation:

The thing that hit me over the head like a sledge hammer was the following:

5. I did miss my RSS feeds. I try to keep these lean, but I still had more than 740 posts to catch up on. That’s more than 100/day. I managed to skim through most of them yesterday and sent the most interesting ones to Instapaper. That said, I do look forward to reading blog posts and this was something that I missed, much more than Facebook and Twitter.

If I stopped to count my interruptions and distractions  (for example, reading something in my RSS feed that triggers a thought that triggers a blog post) I’d really never get anything done.  There is a law somewhere about productivity that describes this. I don’t remember what it is, but I could always interrupt myself and look it up.

So here is my resolution for Fall Semester 2012 (the new year starts when school starts in the fall for those of us who work university library circulation):

“I resolve to cut my RSS reading and random net browsing by 20% this fall.”

I’m not sure exactly how I will measure that, but ….


crossposted to Joak





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