I’m about to take a couple of weeks’ annual leave from work. For the first week the family and I are off to Centreparcs at Longleat. If there’s anywhere guaranteed to chill you out it’s Centreparcs. It is perfect for all the family, and my kids are now at the age when they amuse themselves all day and just come back to us when they need refuelling.
In that first week, for the first time in a long time, I’ll be totally disconnecting from the internet.
For context, you should know that I spend much of my life on Twitter. I have used it to spread the word about MeaningfulMoney.tv, my financial education website and I tweet on average about 10 times per day. Not a massive amount, but then I’m careful how much time I spend behind my laptop screen on the weekend and in the evenings, so that I can be present for my kids. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time watching Twitter though…
I spend three to four hours per week writing, shooting and editing videos on my Mac. I check in to Facebook at least once a day. My email load is average, I guess about 75 actionable emails per day.
So it’s fair to say that I spend a fair amount of time at my various computers. Here’s what I’m going to do to disconnect in an orderly way:
A few years ago I taught my wonderful assistant Sue how to field my email, so I know my work email will be tidy when I get back to the office. Sorted into Action and Read folders I can usually clear a fortnight’s emails sorted in this way in less than an hour when I get back to the office. Sue will reply if necessary, but generally lets my out of office responder set people’s expectations.
My personal email will also have an out of office responder on it, for the first time ever.
I spend at least half an hour per day just reading posts. It’s how I keep up to date with the stuff that interests me, and the stuff which is mission critical for both my day job at Jacksons and the sideline that is MeaningfulMoney. I’ll miss this, but I won’t be checking Reeder at all during the week – removing it from my iPhone.
Twitter & Facebook
I’ll be changing my Twitter bio to reflect the fact that I’m incommunicado for a week. Also I’m removing all the social media apps from my iPhone for the week. This is the bit I’m feeling most edgy about!
Of course, my last act on Twitter and BookFace will be to leave a tweet/status update to the effect that I’m out of touch.
Though I don’t like auto-tweeting as a rule, I have set-up some tweets to go out to highlight the two MeaningfulMoney episodes set to post during the week. Though I have plenty of people who subscribe to the YouTube channel, most people still learn about MMtv via Twitter. So if I want my viewing numbers to hold up, (60 views every day or thereabouts) I need to keep the message going out regularly.
To be continued…
I’m really looking forward to disengaging, but I’m also wondering how I’ll feel. I follow up in another post to let you know how I get on.