Yesterday I stumbled across (actually, I twittered’d over) a post by Ryan Gibson titled Internet Fast. It spoke about how Ryan read another article that inspired him to take a break from any not necessary online activity. Basically – we all as online marketers (inbound marketers, SEOs, growth hackers, the lot) have to spend time online at work in order to remain in employment, however, we all I think tend to spend a lot of time online outside of office hours.
In the past every time I cut off an addiction (sugar, smoking, overeating to name a few) it resulted in increased levels of happiness and reduced stress.
Too much time on emails and twitter made me stressed
I recently realised this is causing me to be overally stressed and occasionally even leading to feeling burnout and overwhelmed. One of my bosses gave me a great advice – stop checking your work emails after 7pm and control your use over the weekends. This helped a lot.
I think next step is for me to to follow Ryan’s experiment and limit the use for a full week (below is an excerpt from Ryan’s post):
When will this begin?
I have provisionally set the 7th October until Midnight Sunday the 13th as my internet fast. Within this period I will not be allowed to use the internet outside of business hours and will continue to work the standard working day. 3G and Wifi will be turned off my smart phone; my laptop will only be used in offline mode. I will lead a completely disconnected lifestyle.
What I’m trying to achieve?
I want to learn to control my access to Twitter and Facebook. I have been spending every evening learning about SEO, strategies other’s use, analysing links and tactics, reading news about SEO and digital and productivity posts for the last 6 years. Even on my holidays. I think it’s time for a break. Time to learn to control that habit to ensure I can have a life without constant access to my notifications.
This exercise should result in lowered stress levels. I know this because even reducing my time spent on checking work emails from my mobile helped greatly.
I want to improve my time off – to make it truly time off, not just time outside the office BUT online. The time I’m supposed to be spending with my girlfriend or actually – just reading stuff not to do with digital. I haven’t watched a TV series in 3 months now – because I found it waste of time. It’s time for me to learn how to relax again.
What about you?
It would be great to make it a thing – a few of us could do that experiment at the same time (it’s 7th October until Midnight Sunday the 13th – actually I’ll make mine until morning Monday 14th October).
If you decide this is something that sounds good, drop me an email or a comment, do it and let’s post afterwards with our thoughts. I’ll be writing a few sentences each day describing how I used my time instead of being online and how difficult I found the disconnection. Also how I felt by Sunday 13th October – towards the end of the experiment.
Featured image credit: entirelysubjective