There are so many incredible benefits of getting out of the country once in a while! Highly recommended. Aside from having a fantastic vacation/adventure in Southeast Asia, I got a fresh perspective on the trappings of life/work/country upon returning yesterday. Here are some things I’ve decided not to put up with anymore as a result:
Getting back to my email box and sorting by the FROM field for 2.5 weeks of backlog taught me that I don’t actually need any regular notifications from anybody about anything. Not a blog, not a digital newsletter, not a free training, not a coupon, nada nuthin’! (I don’t have any physical subscriptions or I’d ditch them too)
- Junkmail & Junkphone
I changed my business and my personal addresses earlier this year, so now I get all sorts of junkmail and sales calls. I almost forgot how much I missed them, but now I remember (sigh!). Time to get my name off everyone’s lists again. How ever will I contain my joy…?
- Email Instaresponses & Soliloquies
As of today, I’m only checking email 3x daily for a maximum of 1hr/day. It may be a bit of a challenge with some clients, but I’ve done this kind of thing before. I simply don’t check email without a timer ticking away. I’m also restricting all my outgoing emails to a 5-sentence limit. Anecdotal evidence shows that few people read (and even fewer take the time to understand!) anything longer. And after sifting through the 1000+ emails in my backlog, I can kinda see why…
- Social Media Blabber
All my activity on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is now drawing from the same 1hr max as email. I’m making exceptions for blog and YouTube activity only. I love my friends around the world, and staying connected via social has been great. Connecting directly is simply better in every way, be it via phone or Skype or, best yet, in person.
- News from US Sources
All American news is crap. Yes, even PBS/NPR. I kinda knew this already, but being overseas really hammered it home. I see no reason to consume our so-called news anymore, and plenty of reason to avoid it. It all looks more like PR masquerading as news to me, and I feel less powerful and more fearful as a result of plugging into it. I’d rather be straight up uninformed than hold the mistaken belief that I am informed. The truth is that all the stuff that I care about tends to find me by word of mouth, anyway. If I feel the urge to research something, foreign news sources are alright, though direct source material is always preferred over any aggregations of it. Thank you internet!
- Juggling Finances
I nearly succeeded in putting my bills on automatic pilot before this trip. Now is the time to finish the job, and map it out on the calendar (including a review day and failsafes). I bill everything on credit cards to maximize airline points anyway, which gives a bit of buffer. I might was well review everything only once a month and ignore it all until then. Less stress, less mess.
- Apple Products
I had one of the first iPods, iPhones, iPads, and was even one of the first iOS developers. At one time I dearly loved my iTunes, my MacBook Pro, my OS X, my Mail, my Final Cut Pro, and the simple sense of all Apple designs. But going away and coming back reminded me that these once precious things just piss me off at every turn these days. Seth Godin has a great post that I think sums up why this happens. Anyway, I’m jumping ship. I don’t know where I’m jumping yet, but I’m jumping for sure. Sadly, I don’t like them Apples no mo’…
Anything here inspire/trigger you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. If there’s interest, I’ll post future updates on how these things go so you can laugh at my mistakes or adopt solutions as you see fit.