From info fast to info diet
Another reason for the info fast was to establish attainable goals and accomplish them. In my career, I read a lot of periodicals, Web sites and books in order to assist me (on average about two to three hours per day). Often I spend three to four hours reading and replying to emails per day.
Last week I avoided print media (i.e. newspapers, magazines), audio media (i.e. NPR, audiobooks, podcasts), online media (i.e. news Web sites specifically, but also general Web surfing), television (I do not own one.), and book reading (except one hour of pleasure reading before bed). The idea, or rather challenge, derived from a book I am reading--The 4-Hour Workweek. I also limited my email reading/replying time to two hours per day (which was not part of the info fast).
During the course of the week I earned five extra hours (using the two-hour per day email reading/replying strategy). Further, by avoiding the consumption of print and online reading I was able to enjoy almost ten hours of focused thinking, working and writing. That is removing almost two eight-hour work days--almost half a week--of unproductive (or fat) time out of my busy week!
This is important because the 2008 Weekly Planner project I am working on goes to press today and last week I needed that additional 15 hours to finalize the project (I had to purchase editorial content and art at the last minute and redesign more than two dozen pages due to unplanned developments). Further, a children's book project I am working on also goes to press today. Even with the additional 15 hours, I was not able to accomplish the writing of new ad copy nor the design work for a new magazine ad, and I forgot to return a vital phone call!
When you're a one-man show (manage all phases of development, production, promotion and distribution of book titles; direct and assist editorial contributions; design book covers and page layouts; write, design, and place advertisements and much more), earning 15 hours is a big, big accomplishment.
This week I will move from info fast to info diet and learn how to effectively accomplish goals and tasks.