Could you do without your computer and your online life for a week? It’s an experiment I conducted last week, after dropping off my laptop for repairs and going skiing at Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
My main clients knew I was away and all my projects were up to date. While at the resort, I didn’t check e-mail, write a post, read other blogs, Google anything or update my Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. Instead, I skied, went zip-lining (aka acrobranche, where you fly or walk various planks, barrels and wobbly bridges from tree to tree), soaked in the hot tub, ate some terrific meals. Pretty good replacements, right?
I was a little antsy about not checking e-mail, mostly because I subscribe to a lot of e-newsletters and mailing lists and knew my in-box would be filling up. But I did not check in until day 6 (on the family computer), when we got home. I got my own computer back on day 7 and made sure all was working properly before shutting down for another entire day.
Now that I know it can be done, I hope to be a little more disciplined about e-mail while still being responsive. Of course, an active offline life is the best incentive to get off the computer. And with that, I’m off to walk the dog.