It’s been almost two weeks since my first Off The Grid post, so I figured I’d report back on how it’s been going.
The bottom line is that I really like not being constantly distracted by growl notifications, iPhone push notifications, and little beeps vying for my attention. The biggest issue I had with constant communication connectivity was these concentration-killers. By turning off growl and push notifications, shutting down all social networking apps, and setting pre-defined times to check all these channels, I freed my mind up to focus on being creative for longer spurts.
My biggest concern about this experiment was that I wouldn’t be able to resist checking my email, Yammer, Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, etc. every five minutes for fear of missing something time-sensitive. It turns out that was not the problem for me I thought it would be. It seems I’m quite happy ignoring everybody for extended periods of time. Knowing that I’ll be checking in regularly seems to be enough to relieve any subconscious concern that I’ll miss something when I don’t have notifications interrupting me.
What about those times someone needs to get ahold of me urgently? I think by not responding immediately to every email, the people around me quickly adjust their expectations. If they need to get ahold of me promptly, they use a more immediate communication channel – like text messaging.
I think I’ll continue in this mode. This seems like a good first step to a personal goal I made for Q1 2012: to be fluidly practicing the art of “zero inbox” by April 1. More on that later…