Last week, I took an impromptu break. No planning ahead of time, just… walked away. Cold turkey. No blog. No social media. I shot out a quick explanation on Twitter, posted a note on the sidebar that I wouldn’t be around, and that was it.
It was an interesting experiment, and I definitely learned a few things…
It was easier than I thought
Once I got past the “but I’m missing everything!” and “but everyone’s going to forget about me!” it was surprisingly simple to just not look at it. Not look at Twitter, not look at Google+, not look at my blog, and not look at everyone else’s blogs. I disabled the appropriate notifications on my phone, removed the bookmarks from my browser bar, and that was that. Without those things staring me in the face, my urges to “just check in really quick” almost disappeared.
I need to get my blog list under control
Reading and commenting on other blogs is probably my biggest time-suck. Yes, even bigger than Twitter. So, I have a couple options on this. I can dial way back the number of blogs I follow and rely more on weekly recaps to fill in the gaps, or I can give myself more freedom to skip over posts. When I went back into Feedly and saw the hundreds of posts waiting for me, I didn’t want to just mark all as read and start over, but I knew I couldn’t go through and read everything. The point of taking a break was not to make more work for myself when I came back, after all.
The important people won’t forget about me
Yes, my page views went down, even just over those few days of inactivity. Apparently, if I’m not out there commenting all over town, I’m going to lose some traffic. But that just means that I’m not getting random clicks… not that all my followers and commenters are abandoning me.
I need to do this more often
Even if it’s not a whole week (okay, if we’re perfectly honest, this time wasn’t a whole week either), I need to just step back and take a deep breath now and then. Take a day or two off from everything, not because I’m out of town or busy with other things, but just because.
Do you make a habit of unplugging now and then?