Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Why It's Important To Take Time Out: A Digital Detox




"Are you really having a break, or kind of only having half a break and still got one eye on clients, deadlines and notifications?"


How have we already reached August? I can already feel the nights drawing in earlier and the highstreet is starting to feel distinctly more Autumnal. It's later, much later in the Summer than anticipated, but I'm finally back to blogging. Having had an incredibly stressful last academic term and (what felt like) only managing to pull off the bare essentials in my degree and job(s), blogging had to take a back seat. My creativity had run out of steam, my days were long and my brain was frazzled. I've had a solid 3 month blog break to re-evaluate by little internet corner, brainstorm content, re-brand a little and unearth my passion for writing, editing, exploring, experimenting and quite frankly reading, all over again. 

After taking time out, being less active on social media, escaping to Spain, and reducing my workload I'm back to feeling inspired and motivated to share new edits, posts and experiences. When life whizzes by at 1,000,000mph it's incredibly tough to take your foot off the gas without feeling guilty. I ponder what if's or often just feel outright inadequate for not being superwoman. I'm sure I don't stand alone in that. 

So some R&R later and I've found some new techniques that have recently eased me into slowing down a bit. (And reduce FOMO when not in reach of Snapchat.) I've allowed days off, to really be days off, not absorbed by social media, snooping on what everyone else is doing or sneakily checking work emails. 

Being connected 24/7 can be totally counter productive. You feel busy and full to the brim of information, thoughts and plans. Ironically thinking you're being productive when in realty, you're probably more distracted and not working efficiently at all.  I've previously suffered the work/holiday limbo - are you really having a break, or kind of only having half a break and still got one eye on clients, deadlines and notifications?

How many tabs do you have open right now? How many other things do your think about other than what you are actually working on? This constant overload of stimuli on my brain had mentally fatigued me. It was time to disconnect and have a mini digital detox. 

Actually enjoy the moment, living the experience in reality, not through a filter.

Since actively trying to reduce my time wasted online I've identified 3 simple steps to enjoying calmer holidays and more efficient working when I do get back to routine, to ensure I'm getting the most out of getting away.  

PUT THE PHONE DOWN

Go to a restaurant and resist asking for the wifi password. Enjoy the moments through your eyes not snapchat. 

GO OLD SCHOOL 

Carry a real life paper diary or notepad to write down or doodle thoughts that inspire you. Don't always reach for technology. Sometimes re-reading handwritten notes helps to re-jog your memory and gives you creative license to make your bullet points and scribbles as pretty a you like. It's actually quite satisfying. 

READ

Before I went away I hadn't read a book in over a year, at least 14 months. Since coming back I've had a couple of mini literary hauls's on Amazon and can't wait to whizz my way though a reading list I've now got lined up. 


All in all this post is a little reflection to remind myself it's ok to take a proper break, and actually, it's 100% necessary. There's a big wide world out there, and when you're overwhelmed with monotony and frustration, find that perspective. It's the best thing I've done this year.  




On that note... I'm closing my laptop and escaping schedule more Hot Yoga.... 

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