As I’ve written before, I’m now in vacation. And I should admit that in this first week of the vacation, my workflow is a mess. Usually I organize my workflow using GTD which I follow faithfully. In this recent week however, I decided to set aside “outcome-oriented” things and went fully to the “vacation mode”. No to-do list, no calendar, and – in the first several days – even no emails. I just enjoy myself and try to do new things than what I usually do.
One thing that really “helps” me in doing things differently is the fact that my Internet connection here is … well, poor. The only Internet access available for me at home is dial-up connection which is both slow and expensive. Since the Internet usually forms quite a big part of my daily workflow, this fact alone is enough to significantly change the way I spend my time. No RSS, no downloads, and no other “Internet rituals” which usually consume a lot of my time. Instead, I spend my time to chat with others (not via IM, of course), watch movies, play games, etc.
Doing things differently like this is a good experience for me. It refreshes my mind and also breaks some assumption which I normally take for granted. For example, it turns out that Internet is actually not that important to my life. I can enjoy my time without accessing Internet for days. Reading books is also not that important. While normally I set aside specific time to read books everyday, here I don’t do that and it works very well. Instead, I find many other things which are very interesting to do, such as deeper relationship with “real” human beings.
From this experience, I think it is important for you to sometimes change the way you spend your days. Try to do things differently, try to do new things, or try not to do things you usually do. Doing things differently could give you at least two benefits:
- It challenges your assumptions
Many things which you have taken for granted may turn out to be incorrect. What you’ll find may surprise you.
- It opens new possibilities
Since you go “out of the box”, things which are normally not in your radar may now come to your life. You may find that some of those new things are very interesting and useful.
In short, doing things differently allows you to expand yourself in new and creative ways.