I know it seems odd–I’m an avid RSS user and I loved that Google Reader had all of that information conveniently placed in one central area. Sure, I use The Old Reader and Feedly (fantastic alternatives by the way) but I still do miss the old Google Reader.
Or so I thought.
Once it was gone, it completely broke down my daily schedule: login to Gmail, pop open reader, see what’s no (repeat 5x every hour). It became inconvenient to check The Old Reader or Feedly–another website to go to, load, parse through the entries, etc. Eventually it dropped out of my routine entirely. Now I only check if I remember to, or if I am so insanely bored that I just have to do something.
So that got me thinking. How many parts of our lives are just in ruts that, with a slight change, we could get out of it (“shake things up” if you will) and discover how much more time and potential we have? How much can we free up to devote to something else?
In a similar vein, another thing I like to do is to take a new path to work every so often. New backstreet, random alleyway, completely opposite side of the road, etc. It really helps freshen things up, and you’ll never know what cool new things you’ll find (like Dr. Pepper and Salt and Vinegar chips in a random grocery store). It’s nice to break out of that rut–that routine–and discover all the hidden gems around you.
(I’ve also forced Facebook to be completely inaccessible on my home computer and deleted the app from my phone, which ha scut down on my Facebook usage immensely.. and I don’t miss it. Now it’s “only when I need it”)
Quite true, breaking out of habits is refreshing and lets one discover new places (when it comes to “geographical habits”). After Google Reader I switched to a local feed reader, which is probably a bit too convenient for me — no logins and passwords, so quite a lot of time spent just firing up the feeds in moments of weakness … Though decreasing reliance on those darn social networks is a bigger problem at the moment. Something like a computer-free day would probably be an interesting habit opening up for new activities.
I just saw news of The Old Reader basically shutting down so I’m even more disconnected from my RSS feeds now–perhaps for the best.
My biggest social network reliance has been Twitter. I check it quite often, mostly because people share such interesting things. Facebook I’ve relegated to being blocked on my computer in all browsers except the one that takes forever to open and constantly crashes, thus I hardly check it when home. It helps a lot!
A computer free day… I like the idea of that. Maybe I’ll try it on a weekend sometime.