It’s been a while since I had some meaningful time off, certainly before this year – so it was well overdue that I took the family away for a few days in Rotorua last week.
Sometimes in the past, I’ve felt that time off is time wasted, but I certainly proved to myself that this wasn’t the case last week. As I’ve discussed previously, I’ve felt overwhelmed at times this year with everything going on, including an increase in stress and a decrease in ways to relieve it.
It was time for a break! I decided to go all-in and leave my phone at home, it was Friday-Monday so I thought having a total break from technology was more important than someone potentially waiting a couple of days to hear back from me – and it proved to be an excellent decision.
The first couple of days we basically did nothing – which in a world where filling time and checking your phone is the norm, this was just what we needed. No distractions, no notifications, no social media or mainstream media… it was such a pleasant experience to just be fully present and not absent in an increasingly online world.
In modern life we’re constantly bombarded with alerts from multiple inboxes and locations, this leads to a decrease in attention span, which doesn’t allow us to go in-depth in many areas and often results in very short-term thinking.
As an example, on an average day, after finishing work and putting the kids to bed, the chances of my partner or I receiving no notifications, not checking our phones, not watching any TV and not doing any work is basically zero.
So to have a few clear hours to just talk while away allowed us to get to depths of conversation we otherwise wouldn’t have reached, and as a result, we solved several problems we didn’t know we had and made plans for the short, medium and long-term which we’ve already started to implement.
I also had time to read and go in-depth on two topics I’m very interested in, rather than getting short bytes of the most recent information from multiple sources online.
I feel happier, less stressed, refreshed and more connected with my kids. The past week at work for a four-day week was my most productive for a while – I even managed to make it to the home gym (my garage) every day!
I’ve slightly rejigged my system for work which means I get a clearer run at getting some in-depth work done every day without being interrupted, my planning becomes much easier and gives me more flexibility at the end of each day – I’ll report back on this once I’ve tested it out some more.
All in all, we found our time away so rewarding that we’ve booked a three-and-a-half-day weekend off every month going forward.
Have you had a recharge and a total break from technology recently?
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