Got to four days in a row. Tomorrow I set a new longest streak.
A key part of disconnecting for me is not being as reactive throughout the day. Since moving, I haven't settled on a routine. I wake up and go to sleep at different times every day.* Almost everything in between is variable too, except scheduled activities where there are other parties involved: training with KJ and therapy.
Over the last couple days, I've tried to start my day the same no matter what time I wake up. I get out of bed, then I brush my teeth and do my sinus rinse. Those two things are small, but I feel like I accomplish something after completing them. I'm going to continue with those two as a foundation. Perhaps I will build on them: Add in breathing exercises, drink a glass of water, etc.
* Maybe this is what freedom looks like for me. I get to explore and the endpoints of my day shift to accommodate.
Going to focus on breaking my longest daily breathing exercises streak.
Haven’t been on HN yet today. I went on yesterday and spent some time. It’s funny how it’s no longer an automated thing I do. I can access it whenever I want, but I’m not compulsively going like I did before.
Made it a month! Still haven't been on HN yet. Don't have the desire right now.
Going to return to Hacker News tomorrow. Only two rules are do not use it on phone and try to delay using it for as long as possible. If I can delay until later in the day, it will be a reward for the day's work. Tomorrow is also a full month of not using it.
No routine the last couple days. Setting up a new apartment. Everything is open and new right now. Going to let my mind wander too.
Haven’t had much time to stop and think today. Been packing and getting ready to head down to NYC tomorrow. Looking forward to some quiet time when I make it down.
Heading down to Brooklyn and a new apartment Saturday. Want to be intentional about setting it up. Make the physical spaces work for me (and Latika). Often people just randomly set up the spaces in which they operate and don't pay attention to their actual needs or they fall into normal traps. I don't need or want a TV to be the center of the living room.
Three weeks without Hacker News, Twitter, et al. Hard to believe it's been that long since I've been on HN. I definitely still have some FOMO. A lot of the stuff I read about on there (tech, startups, products, etc.) is a waste of time, but some of it is really valuable. I've met folks and found out about life-changing things on there. I'll be back at some point.
Been working like mad on a new feature for Patreon so I don’t have as much time during the day to get distracted by other things. The downside is it’s hard to disconnect from work when you are pushing to finish something.
Watched an entire season of Succession while helping Latika pack over the last few days. It was a nice break, but reminded me how addictive content can be. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable and there’s nothing else I was going to do with that time. Trade-off accepted.
Did breathing exercises before going to sleep last night and this morning after exercising. I'm in a in-between state right now. Latika and I are moving in with each other. We are packing up our respective apartments. We move to the new place next weekend. Once we move in, we'll need to get everything set up.
During this in-between state, my brain is hungry for stimulation. It wants to relax after packing and figuring things out. Staying the course during this time is challenging. I need to remember to do simple things to stay grounded: Breathe, exercise, keep learning.
Been slacking on the breathing exercises over the last week. I had been doing them before bed and occasionally after waking up in the morning. Going to focus on them specifically over the next few days and upload progress here to hold myself accountable.
Drove down to NYC this morning. It's amazing how even while driving when so much is going on, you can clear your mind. Guess it's similar to walking. You are focusing on the task, but the mind still has some space to wander.
Thinking about building a simple multiplatform app with SwiftUI to view tweets. This would allow me to control how much I consume more directly than using the Twitter app (or another client). I could have the app only show a specific number of tweets per day, not work on weekends, etc. I'm also learning how to build native apps right now so I could feed two birds with one scone.
Is it worthwhile to disconnect at all? I think it is, but was thinking about this question more. Some basic pros and cons.
- More time to do other things
- Less external stimulation
- Clear headspace of other ideas and random things
- Less time to do other things
- Less entertainment
- Less connecting with folks online/learning about new things
I'd like to find a way to spend less time on Hacker News, Twitter, etc. but still be able to hear about new things (i.e. tech, news, people).
Thinking about a way to ease back into using Hacker News and Twitter again. Some questions I'm asking myself.
- How many times per day do I allow myself to use? Once, twice, or more? Time limit?
- Trade-off between using in the morning versus at night?
- Mobile and/or desktop?
- When is enough? When you are eating food, your body tells you when you've had enough. When consuming digital content, how do you know you are full?
So far I think I'd like to set a rule where I use HN and Twitter only on my computer during weekdays in the early to late afternoon. It will be an intentional time set aside for checking both. Hopefully, it won't become an impulsive habit then.
I will stay signed out of HN and Twitter when I'm not using them and turn on a custom Stylus rule that hides the page HTML.
Going to keep thinking about these type of questions and come up with a plan before returning to both.
Spending the last couple days in New Hampshire without Internet was refreshing. When Latika and I move into our new place August 15th, I'd like to have at least one day every week where the router is switched off and phones are set to airplane mode. Disconnecting for a day or two is centering. Your mind ends up wandering and along the way you can get into deep focus.
I’m heading up to New Hampshire for a couple days to help my mom clean up the house. The Internet hasn’t been set up for a couple years so it’s an explicit barrier to using a device. When I think about methods for disconnecting, a lot of people (including myself) tend to block themselves from accessing stuff. Creating barriers, like using iOS Screen Time or not having Internet access, seem effective, but not sustainable.
Ideally, my brain changes enough so I can rely on self-discipline instead.
I made it one week.
I have a lot of extra time in the during the day now since I'm not going on Hacker News. I started using Hacker News five or six years ago and it became an integral part of my life. I posted products that got some interest and learned a lot from the community. My brain has
n+Enter wired whenever I'm using a browser.
At some point I'd like to return to using it because it's been valuable, but I don't need to go on it many times a day like I did before. Nothing really changes that often! All I ever do is refresh the frontpage and look at the same stuff over and over again. I'm hoping me truly realizing this helps me change my behavior when I let it back into my life.
Spent some time in bed reading and replying to text messages. In the past, I think using my phone in bed in the morning helped wake me up, like coffee would.
There are less things to read in my Instapaper backlog because I'm not saving new stories from Hacker News, Twitter, etc. I do feel like there is some stuff I'm missing, but I don't know at all what it is. Overall, I feel less scattered and reactive.
The most challenging time to stay under control is when I’m tired. My brain searches for snacks. I’ve noticed that I haven’t had to rely on the blockers I put in place on my phone and computer yet. I’ve had enough resolve to stay away. One thing I’m worried about is my brain getting attached to new snacks. Websites that I wouldn’t have spent much time on before, but are the only things left to snack on. Stale chips. NYT Cooking could be one of those things.
Was more challenging to wake up this morning (snoozed my alarm for an hour) since I went to sleep later.
I watched an hour of TV with my mom and Facetimed Latika right before bed so I only read for five minutes and did shortened breathing exercises.
Even though I didn’t use any “banned” apps I still need more time to clear my mind before going to sleep.
Woke up this morning and immediately got out of bed since I signed out of Tweetbot and blocked websites I usually visit in Safari (i.e. Hack News). Once I got up, I did some breathing exercises in Oak. By doing these two simple things, I cleared my mind to start the day and didn't waste 30+ minutes in bed.