The wired-less challenge

A thought provoking post from Prof Hacker today, asks the questionof us

How wired are you? How do you manage to multitask? How distracted are you by email, Twitter, IM, Facebook, Foursquare, RSS, and YouTube?  Could you quit, cold turkey, for a day?…This is your challenge, should you choose to accept it: Go offline for 36 hours. Then come back and tell us about it in the comments.

My first reaction was to laugh, mainly because of @jobeaz’s increasingly desperate tweets about the lack of internet access at their new house and the entire family wandering aimlessly around the house being forced to talk to each other instead…

Now, #blogeverydayofjune notwithstanding, I would find it impossible to do my job without online access (as I suspect most of us would), but it does raise the question of distraction vs productivity.  I am particularly distracted by the blog challenge, as I love to read all the new ones and find myself justifying putting aside the other tasks I could be doing to check my RSS feeds, or Katie’s excellent netvibes page for the latest instalments from my fellow bloggers, in the interests of professional development and networking opportunities that I am sure will somehow benefit my employer in some way…  However, I find that even perfectly ‘legitimate’ work related emails distract me as they come in and that rather than leaving my emails for a certain period in the day, I have a peek every time a new one comes in, regardless of what I am in the middle of at the time.  There are dozens of blog posts around about improving productivity, increasing your efficiency, de-cluttering your electronic presence etc etc (none of which I can find because I clearly haven’t paid enough attention to actually implement any of the suggestions) but the overall message is that staying focussed can be difficult – whether at home or at work.

I suppose I could go cold turkey for 36 hours….. but not until the end of June, surely!

image: freedom by via flickr

4 responses

  1. I know I’ll need a little rest at the end of June. Switching off for a couple of days would be hard, but not impossible. You just have to mentally prepare for it!

  2. Agreed – although I am leaping straight into Dry July!!

  3. I think it’s healthy to have a day or two occasionally offline. It’s just like when you take a day or two away from your family or friends. I have to agree with you that for me it won’t happen until 1st July 🙂

  4. I like the concept of Inbox Zero more. Taking the best out of online resources, and not being distracted by the junk mail. Just as we used to do with reading print magazines.

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