Email Experiment

I decided to do an experiment for the month of August to see what's in my head vs. what is reacting to current events and social media.

  • No Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn (I don't use Facebook anyway).
  • As few meetings as possible.
  • Only checking my email at 5pm, answering everything, and being done by dinnertime. (This time was selected to give me most of my day without external obligations and give me some wind-down time after to get back into a non-work mindset before sleep).

It's only been one day so far, but I'd say it's working pretty well.


Had fewer of these given the new experiment, and the general wind-down after everyone reaches out during a change. Talked to PVH about people who take long gaps and the value of just having time vs. reflection. Talked to Steve Krouse about being back in the working environment after research (and vice-versa). Talked to Nikki. Had a great chat meeting Alyssa Frazee for the first time and talking about all things books and better Goodreads. Reminded me of how much I love books, and how many opinions I have about them. Had two other conversations about how to think about this stretch of time, and what I'm hoping to build and learn.


Artichoke and sundried tomato stuffed chicken (I got the recipe from PlateJoy when I got a free subscription from Levels Health - basically just butterfly the chicken and stuff it with chopped artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and fontina). This zucchini tart, twice! Sausage and Pepper Pasta. This really bizarre pasta recipe (we added shrimp and zucchini, Tom and my mom liked it, me less so). Lemon-Ginger scones (modified from the last scone recipe, added the zest of two lemons and crystallized ginger instead of blueberries). Salmon, Asparagus and Potatoes. Strawberry shortcake. Salmon Frittata (using the leftovers, modified from this basic recipe).


Only got through four books, probably because I started and didn't finish a bunch more. I did finish Essentialism, which was a typical "do one thing well" book. Also finished Utopia Avenue. I picked up on the allusion to the Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet and felt clever, then felt a lot less clever upon realizing it was the same author.

At that point I decided to go through and pick out a bunch of books that I thought might be worth re-reading. I was also looking for books I'd bought and never read (Imagine Me Gone was the one that I was particularly thinking). Ended up re-reading Tiny Beautiful Things (apparently for the third time!) and Tampa because it had been in my head since My Dark Vanessa came out earlier this year and because I'd been reading Notes on a Silencing, and it is still unbelievably creepy. I've also picked up a few others I failed to get through before, but I'm feeling more momentum.


Borrowed bikes and went to Lake Orion and back! Organized my parents kitchen and pantry. Now the cutting boards and knives are near each other, and you can get down dinner plates without interrupting someone at the stove. Watched "Marrying Millions" and "Indian Matchmaking" and some more Intervention. Lots more crosswords, and we've added Spelling Bee to the repertoire, too. Finished the season of Hunt a Killer we'd been playing, and played a bunch more pinochele. Filled out the official "ten years after you graduated" research survey for Olin.