I’ve been experimenting lately with Intermittent Fasting. I decided to try the 16/8 variation where I have a feeding window of 8 hours and fast for 16 hours. It’s been going well. Got a bit of a binge thing going on after breaking the fast but I’m adjusting and I think I’ll continue with it for a while. I won’t go into the benefits or the why of it. There are pleanty of articles and resources about Intermittend Fasting online.
However, I want to explore an idea I had last night while meditating. (On one of those mind wanderings). I call it Intermittent Distraction Fasting.
I’ve been obsessed lately with thinking about all aspects of my life as nutrition. How is my information diet? How is my movement diet? (This is inspired by Katy Bowman)
What if I applied the same principles of nutrition and fasting to my phone and computer time? What if I could only eat digital junk food for a set period in the day? What if I could only surf Facebook, check Instagram, use Twitter and lurk around on Reddit within an 8 hour window every day? How would that change my day? What would I do with the other 16 hours?
These are the guidelines for my Intermittent Distraction Fasting. They might and probably will change and evolve over time.
- Digital feeding window opens at 1pm every day. The window closes at 9pm every night. Fasting is then from 9pm to 1pm the day after. Yes, this includes a good night’s sleep just like food fasting. I chose 9pm instead of 8pm since I like to do email and admin tasks between 8 and 9pm.
- While fasting, I’m largely putting my phone away.
- While fasting, I can use the phone to meditate (Insight Timer) to journal (Day One), read books (Kindle), work out (Bodyweight Fitness) and use tools such as YNAB to adjust my budget and Things to review my to-do list.
- Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Medium, Slack, forums, news sites and all other quick fix, infinity pools type media is off limits when fasting.
- All email is off limits while fasting.
- Daily work related stuff is off limits while fasting unless you are working on fun and nourishing side projects.
- All notifications are off while fasting.
- Phone calls and text messaging is fine while fasting. (I still haven’t decided what to do about Messenger though)
On my phone I’m putting all the main distraction culprits on page two and keeping important tools and more productive apps on page one.
On the computer I‘ll start with setting up StayFocused in Chrome. I’ll also be mindful about focusing on one thing at a time. That means shutting down applications that I’m not using and closing tabs I don’t need.
What to focus on while fasting?
Saying no to some things wouldn’t be beneficial without saying yes to the things you love to do. So here are some of the ideas for things that I’d like to do while fasting:
In the morning:
- Stretch and move my body.
- Write in journal.
- Work distraction free.
In the evening:
- Get rest.
- Meditate more.
- Move my body in a restorative way.
- Spend time with family.
- Read books. (Maybe articles)
- Improve cooking skills.
- Keep the house clean and tidy.
- Work on nourishing side projects.
- Play computer games.
- Watch good movies.
- Learn something new.
Notice that this is not a complete media fast. (At least not in my case). I still allow some apps, movies, books and even computer games. Why? Because I really enjoy those things and would like to have a focused time enjoying them without nagging distractions.
Anyways, I wrote this more for me than anyone else. Just to get the ideas down on paper. It’s a silly little idea that might just work. I published this on the off-chance that it might be helpful to you too. :)