An old friend popped into an IRC channel and said:
“Sorry I’ve been out of touch; I’ve been away travelling on business.”
Interesting contrast. When I’m on business travel I tend to be more in contact.
Or, perhaps it’s just that I’m just more conscious of it, since one has to go to extra trouble to get email in airports, retrieve messages from hotel rooms, and find ways to make affordable phone calls (instead of succumbing to the temptation to just using your mobile at the cost of having to sacrifice a major organ to pay the roaming fees), etc.
I’ve noticed that it actually takes me going off trekking to get away from the curse of modern communications. Being up in the mountains is about as uplifting an experience as you get, but I’m sad to say that at least part of it must be the freedom from not having to check your email.
Even harder — but essential — is that once in a while you need to have a no typing day. It should be easy to just decide not to do any typing tomorrow, but it’s astoundingly difficult to actually schedule such a day — especially when you’re an Open Source hacker and all you want to do with your spare time is work on the things you love.
But just as serious athletes need to take rest days to prevent over-use injuries, so does anyone who spends huge numbers of hours in front of a computer need to take a day off once in a while. We all need to give the tendons and fine motor muscles in our fingers, wrists, and forearms a rest. I’m not talking about “typing breaks” periodically though the day (I mean, jeesh, just get up and go for a glass of water), but an entire day with no keyboard, no mouse, and no being hunched over starting at the screen.
If you can, take a no typing day once every two weeks. It may not seem like much, but makes a wonderful difference to well-being. And since you’re not sitting at your computer, you might as well head up into the mountains instead.
That I had to type this is an irony that does not escape me.