I’m back! From my family holiday at the beach and social media hiatus, that is. And I’m here to share with you my observations and the results of my social media experiment (see previous blog post if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and three ‘take homes’ that could make you a more relaxed working mum.
My phone became incredibly boring without the internet. I confess, I used the internet on my phone a few times. I checked the weather radar and forecast (I couldn’t just wait to see when the rain was going to let up, I needed to see it on the rain radar). I looked up the local spa menu and phone number to book an appointment (loved every minute, was so blissed out afterwards). I used my email a couple of times too, especially when I realised I had missed a Skype appointment and had to send an apology email. Very out of character for me, it was like my brain was switched off or left at home.
I slept better at night, went to bed earlier and fell asleep faster. I now agree with Arianna Huffington’s advice from her book Thrive, which is to keep the bedroom device free. I’m going to try to maintain this at home and resist the temptation to climb into bed at night and scroll through social media.
The most surprising result of my social media hiatus is that not ONCE did inspiration visit me during my week at the beach, despite having plenty of brain space and time without social media. Perhaps, unlike Santa, inspiration couldn’t find me on my holiday. That was a bit disappointing, since I was hoping to have some sort of epiphany. Apparently I am more inspired by my reality than a holiday. I’ve heard of entrepreneurs taking a year-long sabbatical which fuels them with ideas for years to come. Maybe the trick to making this work is to give inspiration notice of your change of address, something I failed to do last week.
Without the distraction of social media I felt more present with my family and in every activity of the day from breakfast to pool/beach time to dinner.
Here are my three ‘take homes’ that I learnt from my family beach holiday:
- Limit social media time (2-3 times a day for 20 minutes) to ensure I spend some time each day living in the moment.
- Focus on one activity at a time (rather than multi-tasking all day long which is exhausting!).
- Let my phone ‘sleep’ in the bedroom, especially at night.
Number 2 might surprise you. As working mums we get so good at multi-tasking that it becomes our norm. In fact, many workplaces value the multi-tasking abilities of employees so much that we strive to always be multi-tasking. How many times have you made a mistake or forgotten about something important while multi-tasking? I know I have, especially at work. I tend to miss some tiny but significant detail when multi-tasking at work and have learnt that sometimes being completely focussed on one task is more productive. When you are a working mum you multi-task more than ever, which can wear you down mentally. So it’s important to take breaks from multi-tasking too, whether that be part of the day or week and my family beach holiday reminded me of that.
On returning home my mind felt decluttered and I didn’t miss anything during my 5 day social media hiatus.
Well … not that I know of!