This past weekend was the Canada Day long weekend here. And a happy Independence Day to our neighbors to the south! I took the opportunity to take a three day social media hiatus – which means I didn’t go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other sites for three days. I also set my email to out of office and took a nice break from my business. It was awesome.
Gratitude Tip: We are a very connected society and we are generally tethered to our phones. Most people have some sort of anxiety when they are separated from their phone. Taking a break from phone dependence is an important exercise for most people. It gives us time to focus on being present and to stop worrying about what is going on with other people. In my opinion, I feel that it helps us to be more grateful and less distracted.
I have done this kind of break before and this one was the easiest yet. When I find that I am checking my phone a lot and feeling some anxiety about whether I am posting enough or too much, it’s time to take a break. I realize that some of you who are reading this don’t even look at your phone more than once or twice a day, and you’re wondering what I’m talking about. However there are many more of you who will relate to the feeling of needing to check your phone every few minutes to see if anything has happened, if there are any new notifications or comments on your posts. I get caught up in this too. Committing to a break is the best way to examine your habits and make adjustments.
And the bottom line is – no one really cares if you don’t post or check for a few days. I didn’t miss out on anything. In fact, I only had a few emails since most other people took the weekend off. This is the biggest challenge of being a business owner, we mistakenly believe that we have to be ‘on’ all of the time. Yet we all know that taking a break is vital to our creativity and growth. So why do we resist it? Summer is the best time to take a few breaks. I am a big fan of vacation – and this means a vacation from email and social media. In order for us to continue to build and grow over the summer, which is one of the most challenging times of the year, we’ve got to take breaks and enjoy this time of year. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron, take breaks to be more productive, however it works.
Some of the benefits of taking a social media hiatus this weekend include being more present. Instead of checking my phone, I had to be in the moment. We enjoyed the Canada Day celebrations and the Strawberry Festival here in Burlington as a family. I took a few photos and kept my phone on airplane mode. By committing to the weekend off (and sharing this with my team) I was also able to stay out of my office. We had no plans for the rest of the weekend and basically went with the flow. I read a lot (finished two books and almost done a third) and did some crafts with my daughter. We ate our meals together outside and spent the afternoon at the pool yesterday. We even set up the tent in our yard for the neighborhood kids to play in and I enjoyed reading in it too. It was one of our best family weekends ever. And we didn’t really ‘do’ anything. I am truly grateful for it.
Do you plan times of rest and relaxation? Are your weekends always full of errands and other things to check off the ‘to do’ list? Find a weekend (or even a few days during the week) to take some time off and put your phone on airplane mode or simply turn it off. You’ll find that when you get back to things, you’ll be much more focused and excited to get back to it.
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