David Leonhardt on a tactic used by George Shultz, the former Secretary of State in the 1980s (with a modern twist):
I have committed to carving out an hour each week with no meetings, no phone calls, no email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no mobile alerts and no podcasts. Sometimes, I plan to spend the hour sitting down, as Shultz did, and other times taking a stroll. I keep a pen and paper with me and have set my phone to ring only if my wife calls. (My boss can’t start a war, so I’m willing to ignore him for an hour.)
The fact it felt hard to commit to a full hour was a sign of my need to do so. Like many people, I’m overly connected. I have confused the availability of new information with the importance of it. If you spend all your time collecting new information, you won’t leave enough time to make sense of it.
I 100 percent agree with this. And I support such a movement -- I try to come up with ways to force myself to do something similar (a favorite one: going to jazz shows with the aforementioned notebook). Much easier said than done, of course.Read more...