An Internet vacation in August

I’ve been toying with different things in an effort to improve my overall productivity–both at the day job and at home. One thing I suspect, but have no hard measurements for is how much the Internet disrupts from my productivity. This is a tricky thing to guess at and measure because sometimes, the Internet improves productivity–as when it makes information more readily available. Many more times, it is a distraction. I’m probably not as good as I could be about batching email, Twitter and Facebook responses, or responses to blog comments, etc.

In an effort to get a better idea of this, I’m taking a week off from the Internet in August. From midnight of Sunday, August 12 through midnight of Sunday, August 19, I will be on an Internet vacation.

What does this mean, exactly?

  • I won’t be going on the Internet at all, unless I have to do it for a specific day job purpose, and then I’ll do it just fot that purpose and nothing else.
  • I won’t be checking my email during that week. I will have an auto-responder turned on letting folks I deal with regularly know that I’m on an Internet vacation and will be responding to email the following week.
  • I won’t be actively tweeting, checking Twitter, Facebook or other social media during that week. I suspect this will likely mean that I’ll never quite catch up to everything I miss, but that’s part of being on vacation.
  • I won’t be responding to blog comments during that week–but will get to them once my vacation is over.

What about this blog?

  • will be posting, but the posts will all be pre-scheduled.
  • There will likely be one short new post each day, that I’ll write in advance and schedule for future release; there will also be one “retro” post, one of my older more popular posts reposted during that week.
  • There may be a guest post or two.

What about my mobile devices?

  • I will be turning off all notifications on my iPhone and iPad during the vacation. This way, I’m not distracting by my phone buzzing with new email, new tweets, Facebook posts, etc.
  • will be answering my phone as usual.
What if you need to get in touch with me during this time?
  • I will still be answering my phone so those of you that have my number can call.
  • Those who are local can probably catch me in person.
  • I will be reading my work email, it’s part of my job, after all, so if you know that address, you can catch me there as well.
I am not trying to be unavailable. That purpose of the vacation is to see how my productivity improves (if at all) without so much Internet distraction.

What will I be doing during my Internet vacation? It will mostly be business-as-usual, minus the Internet. I’ll be writing, reading, and doing my normal activities with a close eye on how much more I can do without the distractions of the Internet. When the vacation is over, I’ll look at the results and see if there are ways that I can better organize my time online going forward to make better use of my time as a whole.

And, of course, I will post about the experience afterward.

I’ll post a reminder in the days leading up to the vacation.