Weekends off(line)

Having been hammered by admin last week – I think on Wednesday alone I had 177 emails to process, most of which were an ongoing discussion with various parties about a new project that is slowly creeping forward – I decided on a little experiment this weekend.

I stayed offline.

I know, I know. Drastic, right? No email, no Twitter. I didn’t turn the router off, because we still wanted to use our Apple TV, and my wife is much better at time management anyway, so she remained online as usual.

And it was therapeutic. I felt rested. I even slept in (unheard of), and I managed to read nearly all of Duane Swierczynski’s Fun & Games, a thoroughly awesome novel that I picked up last time I was in New York and somehow totally failed to read until now.

I noodled on the outline for a new project that I’m calling, for the moment, Project SHD, and did a little offline research on it as well (from, wait for it, a book).

I watched a film called Man On A Ledge, which was mildly entertaining in a mindless way, despite being totally illogical.

I read some more, starting both Justin Cronin’s The Passage, and the new Raymond Chandler biography by Tom Williams.

I got out the banjo, and recommenced work on learning Cripple Creek.

Turns out, I didn’t miss much, either – this morning I had a grand total of 23 emails waiting, only 2 of which actually required me to do anything. Having said that, 23 was surprisingly few, so perhaps by chance I hit a quiet patch.

But more to the point, I rather enjoyed being disconnected. Although it sounds odd even as I type this, other people have spent time offline (James Brown for The Telegraph tried it for a week, Paul Miller for The Verge tried it for a year), with end result mostly being that you suddenly get lots of time back, and that you suddenly start to get a lot more done.

Which suits me, at least for a couple of days a week. So, unless work or deadlines or some other Important Stuff requires otherwise, I think I’ll make it a new rule for 2014.

I’m taking weekends off(line)!

  • Cavan Scott

    That sounds rather lovely actually. I’m always amazed the amount of work emails I get at weekends.