I don’t know about you, but to me, it feels like forever since i’ve been online. Many of you will know that we moved house earlier this month. With that came the unfortunate (and inconvenient) 2 week wait for our broadband to be activated. As someone who is used to spending several hours a day most days online for work purposes, the last couple of weeks have been tough. Whilst I have been kept more than busy with other tasks, the feeling of not being able to get online and stay online was so frustrating. I found myself on a forced internet detox this past couple of weeks and admittedly, it was good for me.
I am someone who has to get things done when it comes to my business. University essays, dissertations, school homework, any other menial task- nope. I could always push those to one side and leave them be quite happily. But work and business has always been different. I cannot procrastinate and I cannot sit on tasks when I know something needs doing. Whilst this has i’m sure been a key factor in helping our business to get off of the ground initially and ultimately grow, it does have it’s downsides. Never being able to switch off being one of them. Never being able to step away, have some time off. Being unable to disconnect and disengage does mean that your business can very easily take over your life.
To set the scene, i’m the kind of person who gets an email at midnight and immediately has to reply. I am the kind of person who checks her emails the second she wakes up. I am the person who can’t take a day off even on her birthday and the kind of person who was still checking and replying to emails on her mini-moon. In fact, I think the only day I have actually not checked and replied to emails in the last 8 years was our wedding day!
I’ve allowed my business to take over my life. Having internet access means that I am constantly connected and constantly aware. That has good and bad implications. I simply cannot ration though. Rules and working hours were made to be ignored. Nothing but cold Turkey works for me. So being forced to be offline and being forced to not be able to sit looking at a screen all day has been healthy for me.
Learning to prioritise
Don’t get me wrong, I could still rely on my 3G/4G phone connection to respond to an enquiry here or there, but it didn’t really allow me to do everything i’d usually do. It certainly didn’t allow me to spend a whole working day dedicated to completing tasks. Not having a consistent connection forced me to manage my time online more wisely and to focus solely on what is important. It made me focus and prioritise. Furthermore it has made me realise that it is not the end of the world if a non-urgent email is not replied to same day. It has made me realise that I am only one person.
I hope I am able to stop myself slipping back into bad habits. Wish me luck!