Having no Internet access is good because it helps me focus on my book; I get so much more done when I can’t click over to e-mail or Twitter or Google Reader. But it’s also a thorn in my side, because I recently started my own social media business and I need Internet access to keep up with my clients’ accounts.
Lucky for me, this artist’s colony has WiFi in a common area called The Rock House, which is about a half mile away from my studio. Residents — there are usually eight or nine of us here at once — meet there four nights a week for a dinner prepared by Hambidge’s vegetarian chef. While I’m at the Rock House, I can spend some time connected to the online world.
But I want to minimize my online time as much as possible while I’m here so I can focus on my manuscript. My goal is to complete both my personal and professional online business in less than an hour a day. So I devised a plan to make that happen. I’m sharing it with you because I think a lot of of writers want to disconnect once in a while, and being efficient with our Internet can help us do that.
How I’m minimizing my Internet time over these two weeks:
Before leaving for Hambidge, I worked extra hours to complete any work that could be done ahead of time, both for this blog and for my clients’ accounts.
As much as possible, I cleared my plate so I could focus on writing during my residency.
I also made a list of everything that absolutely has to get done at Hambidge. When I go to The Rock House for my daily Internet check (which I’m hoping to do only only weekdays), I’ll keep this list next to me so I can quickly check off items and feel confident that I didn’t forget anything. I’m juggling a lot of balls right now, and it helps to be organized.
Here’s what my Internet to-do list looks like:
Online responsibilities I plan to neglect while I’m at Hambidge:
As the days pass, I’m sure I’ll think of more forms of online communication that I’m neglecting, since I never realize just how much I use the Internet until I’m away from it. But while it seems inconvenient to be disconnected, having Internet-free time also helps me re-evaluate, helps me think about how much of the time I spend online is really necessary.
Your turn: How do you organize your Internet life? What would you do if you didn’t have access for an extended period of time?