Last Saturday I didn’t turn my laptop on.
No checking my blog stats first thing in the morning, no Facebook updates, no retweeting great blog posts, no checking work or personal emails. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I cleaned the house in the morning, went to the hairdressers (I’m blonde again just in time for my trip to New York) and went for sunset drinks at a gorgeous new bar on the edge of the Brisbane river. Then it was off to dinner and home by 10 pm.
Still the laptop stayed off.
It felt pretty good actually.
I figure one of two thoughts are flying through your head right now. If you don’t work online, you’re probably thinking I’m slightly crazy and need to get out more (you might have a valid point there by the way).
If you do work online you might be thinking, ‘I need to do that more often’ or be asking yourself, ‘When was the last time I did that?’
The truth is before last Saturday, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t turn on my laptop every day, at least in the morning. It’s not like I work all of the time, I take a lot of time off, just not usually a full day at a time.
I realise to a non-blogger this might sound a bit extreme.
But let me put it another way, when was the last time you didn’t use your iPhone or mobile phone all day? Leaving it somewhere by accident and not being able to use it, doesn’t count by the way.
I don’t have a phone that connects to the Internet which is a good and a bad thing, depending how you look at it. I’m starting to realise how much it would help with my work but I’m also aware it forces me to take some time out.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, working from home makes it much easier to quickly turn on the laptop and start working.
Being single and not having children certainly makes a difference as well. I don’t have any constraints on my weekend time, except for the ones I impose on myself, so I can work or play whenever I want.
I have been observing the work habits of other people lately.
I’ll give you an example. This Monday was a public holiday in Brisbane. As someone self-employed and still working to get established, I rarely take public holidays at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I do take some of them just not all of them. When I first started working for myself, I wondered if other people either starting out or already established did the same.
I began to notice how many people with their own business were still working on Facebook and Twitter on public holidays. Granted many of their tweets and updates were automated but I noticed a lot were not. They were talking to each other and to my knowledge, I don’t think there is an automated system for this sort of conversation yet (if there is by all means let me know).
Technology has become such a big part of our lives (which as a blogger I am happy about by the way) that sometimes we need to make a conscious decision to step away from it, even if it is only for a short time.
The interesting part is on the day I didn’t check my results, some of them did incredibly well. One of the stats I was following tripled during my day offline, while another quadrupled. I’m starting to think I should take a full day off more often!
With BlogWorld New York fast approaching, I don’t anticipate many days where I won’t be working on my laptop leading up to the event.
Take that back, I do have a birthday coming up this month and I might just take the whole day off. Then again, I could just quickly check my blog before heading off to brunch…
I would love to get other people’s insight on this. If you work online, have a blog or work for yourself how often do you take days completely devoid of electronics? Do you work on public holidays or down tools completely?
I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below.
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