Update: A day over 5 weeks of controlling media inputs

Here’s a quick update on my information diet. Not all of these items will apply to you, but I hope they serve as inspiration to take control of how and when you engage with content. I’m fortunate enough to have total control of my time, and take liberties with how and when I consume media.

You’re as likely to find me online at 3:30am as you are at 3:30pm. With today’s reality (nothing is really normal for anyone), you too may have more freedoms than you’re considering.

On with the update:

All social media apps are installed on all of my devices (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and they’re all enabled, none have unread badges, and all notifications are on and read. Yes, I’ve seen “The Social Dilemma” but choose to engage with these providers for various reasons. First being that my hobbies and businesses rely on the technologies these networks provide.

Voicemail zero? Yes, it’s a thing and the list is empty. As it turns out, most voice mail for me are the silence of a machine deciding to hang up. Most people know not to leave voice mail for me.

Inbox zero across all 7 email accounts? How?

  • Reply immediately to email that will take less than two minutes.
  • If the email will take longer to reply to than that, and it’s not urgent, send it to your task list manager (I use Asana).
  • If it’ll take longer than two minutes, and it’s client or team related, take the time to answer.
  • File everything. Keep it. That’s me, YMMV.

My inbox is not a task list, and so I don’t feel the pressure of lingering decisions and tasks every time I open my email. Not everyone will feel this, but it’s an enormous help for me. My task list is elsewhere, and managed.

To me, “inbox zero” doesn’t mean I’m in my email every second of every minute is dedicated to email. It simply means that when an email comes in, I have a plan to address it, and do. The time between email checks varies of course, and I do have audio alerts on for new email on my laptop. I know they’re there, but I still set the boundary around when I “get to them.” Most of the time it’s immediate, but I may have other priorities.

I’ve also cleared my stack (literal stack) of offline tasks. The final two items just need a trip to the post office! Being inside my brain would be challenging for most people I think. When I see this stack of stuff that “I’ll get to later,” it weighs on me. I know this every time I look at it, but there it sits. Day after day, it reminds me that there’s shit to do. Well, no more, it’s done. If you look at your desk and there’s anything there that shouldn’t be, take care of it. In case you’re wondering, these were all personal/home related and nothing client or work related.

Between the digital clarity (nothing on the desktops or in the downloads folders), keeping my office area (and really the whole first floor) clean leaves lots of brain space for solving problems and some form of physical clarity. I get to focus on the things I choose, when I want to.

Working in virtual reality is becoming more of a priority. It helps create a boundary for work, and that’s a fun experiment too. I recently picked up the Oculus Quest 2. The screen resolution upgrade alone is worth the price. The clarity of the displays was great before on the Quest, but the virtual monitors while coding on Quest 2 are really hard to beat. It rivals meat-space displays. Also 8k VR180 video looks amazing. More on this work reality soon.

Be well today. Let me know if you have any questions!

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michael

Husband, father, epic adventurer, perpetually curious, rule breaker, startup guy, innovator, maker.

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