You know it’s time to unplug when someone tells you they’re unplugging and you feel a hint, or brick load, of jealousy, it’s time. When, in summarizing your day you say, you “multi-tasked it,” it’s time. When you remember the contents of a blog post better than the contents of a conversation with your best friend, it’s time.
Gwen Bell, 10 Ways to take a Digital Sabbatical
Shortly after I wrote my post about taking a Digital Sabbatical, Gwen Bell wrote up her ten ways to follow through and unplug. Ten simple ideas that will make the experience that much more rewarding for you. The idea that was included in her post, but not in the list, is my favourite of them all:
Use the time offline to take stock of your digital life. Which sites are you using to kill time (and is life long enough to spend it killing your time?)
After I started hitting the “Mark All as Read” button in Google Reader, I started to think about how the next logical step is to simply hit “Unsubscribe” instead. Now, I’m sitting back and analyzing the feeds I have subscribed to and wondering how much value I can still get from certain sites, or whether the information is so overwhelming that I simply can’t handle it.
I’ve taken a cue from Techcrunch’s Deadpool list of startups to form my own “deadpool-watchlist” folder in Google Reader to set aside the feeds that I think I could delete without missing. The list has been growing daily and I’m slowly getting my feeds down to a more manageable level.
My problem is deciding whether I can cut ties with some of the larger blogs that I’ve been following for years. Can you afford not to read some of the big names in your area? Will I miss out on something? One way around this is to be following the podcasts of that area in question. For instance, for all my tech news, I can get away with listening to This Week in Tech and This Week in Google. Both podcasts are entertaining, full of information from the past week, and develop the ideas that may be happening in the future.
I’m on the lookout for other ways to compile information into a neat package that I can read or listen to once a week. Please share your ideas if you have any.