Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell are two of the most respected legal tech commentators around. They are ten times smarter and 100 times more well known than I. (Or maybe its 100 times smarter and 10 times more well known. In any event, you get my point). So disagreeing with them may be the dumbest thing I have another done. But here goes.
Dennis and Tom recently put together another excellent Kennedy Mighell podcast report. This isn one of the best podcast around; I listen religiously to every episode. This week’s episode is on how best to manage tech addiction and their tips for better managing our time on the screens that dominate out lives.
I recently wrote a post on this subject and described how I manage this issue by taking one day off from screens per week: no texting, emailing, social media etc. I try to do this on Sundays and, while I am not a fanatic about it, it does give me a welcome break.
Dennis and Tom, though, disagree with this approach and argue we can achieve the same thing by going to less extremes. By using willpower and available filtering tools. Since it’s my ox being gored and at the risk of disagreeing if only slightly with the most well-respected authorities in the (gulp) field, I wanted to respond.
First, we all agree there are benefits to getting away from our screens and taking a break for some periods of time. Where we disagree, I suppose, is in how best to do it.
I think (and I’m sure Dennis and Tom agree) its first important to identify what we are trying to achieve with a break. For me, I’m trying to achieve a break from the pressures of being always on; to find some space; much like with meditation, for quiet time to think encumbered with screen disruptions. To have some time to sit and reflect and pay more attention to what’s around me. To be refreshed.
Having tried various strategies, I just don’t think I get the same benefit by taking short breaks as I do from a day long break. It fits my personality better. Perhaps another example would be helpful: many advise to read and respond to emails at set periods during the day. An hour in the morning and an hour in the evening say. But I can’t do it…I don’t have enough discipline. If I go for an hour or so I start to worry, tremble, break out in cold sweat (well maybe not that extreme) As Dennis says, “I’m week and I can’t control myself” Guilty. But if I tell myself it’s a day break, I have some broader boundaries and I do better. And at the end of the day, my mind is refreshed. Its like the difference between a one week and two week vacation.
My view is there is no one size fits all. Just like there is no standard time of the day for meditation or length of time to spend. The important thing is to do it and commit to it. On that we call agree.
So maybe I’m not crazed. I’m just weak and can’t control myself 😊. I admit it and I don’t feel one bit guilty. 😉