Every once in awhile I'm going to conduct a one week self-experiment while sharing my reasons, insight and experiences as I do it. The idea behind this is to do things that would seem crazy if I were to commit to it for life, but might lead to a beneficial change in how I live if I were to just give it a chance. Forever is a long time -- but anybody can do anything for a week.
This week I'm committing to creating more quiet space in my life. Normally I listen to music or a podcast while I drive around, walk to and around campus, or exercise. Instead, I'm going to let myself do all of these activities in silence. Much of my future success as a PhD student relies on my ability to think deeply about tricky problems and I can't do that if I'm constantly consuming audio. I noticed when I was living back in Michigan and walking to and from my workspace every day (about a mile and a half walk) that when I didn't listen to anything I very often had good ideas for articles, projects, or developed new insights for things that were bothering me. Hopefully I can tap into that again.
A Week Without #1: Background Noise
No music or podcasts while driving, walking around, or working out.
(Hat tip to the apparently defunct Week Without tumblr for the inspiration.)