Pretty ironic that I am about to write a post on disconnecting from the Internet while you are reading this blog on a website, huh? Well, I am only going to write about taking a short break each day from the Internet to boost your productivity. Please know, however, that a long-term separation is completely possible. Every summer, over 150 middle and high school students go without any type of technology for 6 weeks at the Kinhaven Music School, the non-profit I run with my wife. How cool is that?? If high school kids can do it so can you for a few hours each day!
Before trying this separation out, I highly recommend tracking how much time you spend on the internet and on which sites for at least three days. Just like creating a budget, this is a humbling experience, but increasing your awareness is key to getting anything under control in your life. Once you are aware of a habit (especially a bad one), it occupies your mind until you act on it. Pay attention to that feeling.
There are a few tools you can use to track your internet usage:
- Unplug the internet for set periods of time. That’s right: disconnect the router.
- Dedicate 2 hours to be completely offline each day. If you can go for an entire day, great! Remember my summer camp kids….6 weeks!
- When you are doing offline work and need to jump on the net, write it down in your notebook and do it later.
- Set a timer.
- Do research for a project on the internet first, then turn it off.
- Reward yourself with internet time after you complete an offline task.