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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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I Love My Weeks Off The Grid

Comments (7)

Amy and I spent the last week at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. It was awesome.

I was tired and needed a break. I also needed a focused week to finish the final draft of Book #2 (Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and VC) that I’m writing with my partner Jason Mendelson. The submission date is March 31st and I think we are going to be three days early.

While I wasn’t completely off the grid last week, I hid behind a different email address and didn’t check my email, or the web, or any of my traditional news and info services. It was fascinating to be able to quickly catch up using Gist as I could look at the last seven days of news for the people I cared about in the Dashboard view (they prioritized). There were a few interesting things but like most weeks there was a lot more noise than signal.

So I got to spend my entire week on signal, which consisted of three things:

  1. Spend a lot of time with Amy.
  2. Finish the final draft of the book.
  3. Run and exercise (I rediscovered pilates).

I had huge success on all three fronts, I’m refreshed, and ready for Q2.

  • http://twitter.com/TomLabus Tom Labus

    How do you then maintain the right balance?

  • http://twitter.com/ed_celis ed_celis

    Zounds like you have found the right path to Enlightenment ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/brianylim Brian Lim

    Excellent! About a year ago, I started taking one day a week off the grid to spend time with my family.

    I am now experimenting with taking a day off the grid mid-week to get stuff high on the importance scale (not necessarily on the urgency scale) done… This has been more difficult since a nagging thought keeps popping up that I might be missing out on something critical & urgent. So far, I can limit the checking to 3 times per day w/o the nagging thought impacting my focus.

    Yes, it does seem like an addiction/obsession…

  • http://jaxn.org Jackson Miller

    Just curious if you have tried Rapportive for gmail as a compliment to Gist. Whereas Gist allows me to see what is going on with the “most important” people, Rapportive allows me to see what is going on with the “most immediate” people (as in the email I am working on reading/writing).

    I have no interest in Rapportive other than as a user. Just seems like a relevant way to play catch-up.

  • http://twitter.com/eriksquared Erik Engstrom

    I’m glad you had a productive week. I’ve have the 8-day flu. Fortunately for me, I get sick once a year if that. It just takes 2 months to recover!

  • http://twitter.com/judyshapiro judy shapiro

    Getting off the grid regularly is the only way I stay sane. Fortunately, as a Shabboth observer – I am off the grid every week!

    Most can not imagine going off the grid every week. But then most can not imagine the restorative power of that a weekly 25 hour break gives me.

    Going off the grid gives “spirit and heart” space so these quieter voices within us can be heard. Glad you listened :)

  • Allen Price

    There was a great article in Newsweek (3/7, pg 28) on information overload. Science confirms what you found on your week off the grid, Brad: “creative decisions are more likely to bubble up from a brain that applies unconscious thought to a problem… ‘if you let things come at you all the time, you can’t use (that) additional information to make a creative leap or a wise judgment. You need to pull back from the constant influx and take a break’. That allows the brain to subconsciously integrate new information with existing knowledge and make novel connections and see hidden patterns.”

    This is a challenge for all of us in the developed world but founding a start up makes it nearly impossible to turn off the fire hose.

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