I just got back from a quick trip to visit a friend who just moved to Stockholm. When I say that I bought my tickets just days before leaving, I'm not exaggerating. My month was hectic, filled with Chicory-related events or family functions. I was drained. So I skipped town for the long weekend. And, while I expected it would be nice to see a friend and do some traveling, I was surprised to find that the greatest vacation of all was from my blog.
Usually, I don't feel too much stress from my work. I enjoy what I do, so getting emails from my colleagues or checking in here and there during off-hours doesn't bother me. But I hadn't realized, until I stood with a dead phone in my hand at London-Heathrow, realizing that my power adapter was no good in UK power outlets, that blog stressors had become out of hand.
Over the past few months almost my entire digital life has been cannibalized by blog-related noise. And having no choice but to face my 20-hour layover without power/internet, I realized that those notifications were exactly what I'd needed a break from.
Can't afford to take three days off to jet to Sweden? Doing these things for just a couple hours had me returning to NYC with a totally new perspective. Try it out!
The books at London-Heathrow were all buy-one-get-one-half-off. I bought four books. And I dug into one and finished it in one sitting. It wasn't a super smart or dense read, but that doesn't mean I didn't feel incredible turning actual, real pages until I got through each and every one. I realized I hadn't read a book in months because my reading time (on the subway, before bed) had been disrupted by social sharing threads where I was mindlessly yumming hundreds of recipes a day.
Turn off Push Notifications
For a little bit, I had some battery life, but no internet access. Therefore, I received not a single push notification. I'd forgotten how much I loved Candy Crush. I'd forgotten how much I loved using the New York Times crossword puzzle app. It was amazing to feel inaccessible. Is that crazy?
I was thinking recently that I miss studying music. It was my "thing" in high school; I was a kid who took tons of music lessons and theory classes. I used to listen so intently to music, both at home and as part of my studies, but it's been a while since I really listened to music. Luckily, Starbucks had an incredible Aretha Franklin playlist going on. Listening while I sipped coffee was pure luxury.
Don't Even Think About Your Traffic
In my still moments, I refresh my Google Analytics app. Some days I literally watch readers come in and out of my site, one by one. It's sick! I thought I was very concerned with my traffic and that paying attention would help me know what worked and what didn't. Instead, I just obsessed and I realize now how incredibly unproductive that can be.
Write Some Tweets, Save 'Em to Drafts
I also constantly refresh Twitter, but I rarely tweet because I'm so preoccupied with either reading others' tweets or clicking through to the latest recipes popping up. Turns out, when I was without internet, creating felt way more natural than when I'm constantly refreshing and checking out everybody else's work. Remember to let yourself think without actively comparing yourselves to others. In my case, I saved a few great tweets to my drafts for later.