Staying Away From Media and Eternal Time-Wasters
I just took a week out. Away from blogging, away from most of the internet and away from a great deal of the media. Me and my girlfriend went to Spain. So what? I dont usually blog about this kind of personal thing (mainly because I know people dont care what I had for breakfast), but this story has a moral.
While I was away I tried staying away from Media as much as possible, I turned my phone off for most of the day, didn’t bother to connect to the internet more than a couple of times a day to contact family and friends and upload the odd photo. I had no English or American TV or Radio (and therefore news) and regular readers will know that I didn’t blog either. I’ve been at it for a few months now and decided to give it a rest and clear my head, to take a step back from the exciting knowledge I have gained and take it all in, whilst also taking stock over my life situation.
I realised whilst away that staying away from the distractions of the media was a big thing for me. It helped that I had a relevant (and brilliant) book to help me through, Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week (also reviewed here) which talks in depth about the distracting routines we have grown used to in the 21st century. The book was inspiring in loads of brilliant ways, and I highly recommend it.
My brain didn’t switch off while I was away, it rarely does, and even as I laid on a beach my blogs, and the network of websites I am slowly trying to build, crept into my head. Something about the sea breeze and lack of a TV on in the background shed a different light on everything I did. Did I miss the news? Not at all. (Hypocritical from somebody who provides ‘news’ on some of his blogs, I know), but a refreshing lack of voices in my head brought a million and one ideas into my head, ideas that all of us bloggers have been known to stay up til 3am searching for seemed to flow a lot more easily not worrying about every email I received or every item to hit the news. Even my so-called social life suddenly seems like it needs to be trimmed, I don’t want to respond to every message on social networks, I dont want to respond to pointless emails, and I dont want to see every funny office-style joke sent around my inbox. Tim, and the Spanish sun, have reminded me of my focuses.
How many browser windows do you have open right now? How many times a day do you check email, voicemail or even something pointless? Set aside a time in the week to check the important stuff, throw the non-important stuff out. Get rid of every waste of time you can possibly trim out of your life. Focus on what needs to be done, and what brings you closer to your goal. It is amazing how much time you can waste on the bottomless pit we call the internet, whether its social media or surfing, it can drip away your precious time if you’re not careful.
It helped me that in the four hour work week, Tim Ferriss talks in depth about all of the useless and pointless everyday happenings that draw us away from what is really important. I’ve returned from my holiday with reinforced goals and a view of what really needs to be done and what really needs to be ignored. I also managed to have a few Sangrias and gain a few anecdotes while I was away.