I'm incredibly nervous, all the time, about how effectively I'm doing stuff and getting better at doing stuff. And -- right now -- curbing my internet habits is the major front of that effort.
Here's what I've done so far:
- Killed Facebook.
- Got my inbox size down. Way down. I print out messages that I'll need to respond to later and post them on a bulletin board.
- I've bought a bulletin board, by the way. It's great. I post my monthly budget and emails that I need to respond to. I'm less nervous about losing track of stuff. My mind is more settled.
- I've set up a filter to eliminate the different between read and unread messages. So far? The results aren't great. I'm still checking my email very often, though. We'll wait and see on this one.
- I'm pretty excited about this one: I've eliminated Google Reader and replaced it with FeedDemon. There are two reasons why I think this is going to make me a more effective blog consumer. First, my RSS reader is no longer in the browser. That means that I can't access it from any computer other than the one that I leave at home. It also allows me to set up filters so that I can try the read/unread experiment with my blogs also. (You can't do that in Google Reader, I think. And it costs $20 for the license to set that up in FeedDemon.)
- I also unsubscribed from blogs that post often enough that I could hope to gain something by checking my reader more than once or twice a day.
Overall, the goal is to start batching my consumption of online stuff.
I think that this stuff matters. A lot of folks recommend subscribing to hundreds of blogs and scanning them quickly to find the important stuff. Same with twitter. (Which I struggle with too.) That might work for some folks, but being distracted doesn't support my goal of being a thoughtful teacher that (eventually) comes up with some really good stuff. So they have to go.