5 Things my Technology Break taught me about Life

Private PoolI recently took a break from my business, website and blog to get married and honeymoon. I decided to use the opportunity to break away from technology as well so I could focus on my new marriage and really, really rejuvenate. I also felt that getting married is such an intimate experience, and wanted to keep it private and special. Now, I love being on social media and interacting with my friends and colleagues, so I knew it could be a challenge. But I gave it my best shot – ducking in and out of the online world and generally relaxing and enjoying my time off. This is what I learned:

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I know people choose to take a complete break, but I knew there would be times I would pop online (our villa in Bali had wi-fi). I gave myself permission to get online every now and then to play a bit of Words with Friends and other games as well as quickly browse social media. It was never more than 15-20 minutes a day. I still felt connected and I still felt like I was getting the break I needed. I could have chosen to give up on the technology break all together at the first Angry Birds request. Instead, I approached with a “moderation is key” approach, knowing there are always times when things are less than perfect.

2. Creativity flows in the absence of distractions. I took a small notebook and wrote down ideas as they came to mind. I found without the pressure of a computer screen and keyboard in front of me, the ideas flowed more freely out of my pen. There were times where I wished for a laptop as I don’t write very fast, but I loved letting new thoughts find their way (albeit messily) into my little notebook. In fact, I am typing from there now. Wayne Dyer hand writes all his books first. And he’s written a lot of books. Wow.

3. You miss less than you think. There seems to be this 21st Century disease going around: FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. This causes our endless scrolling of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linked In etc. I used to scan relentlessly, not wanting to miss anything important. By setting up my alerts for my most favourite of friends and groups, I quickly ducked in and out of social media ensuring I got to the most important bits of information. It’s true… There is a LOT going on in the world, but it’s not all relevant to me. Having this attitude really helped me streamline how I spent my time and maximised relaxation.

4. Taking time to┬áREALLY take things in pays off. I’ll admit, when I read a book, I often have my phone in the other hand to look up ideas and concepts, order more books, go off on a tangent of research, take notes, where was I? Without technology easily at hand, I truly devoured a number of books including Brene Brown‘s Daring Greatly. An amazing book that requires a good head-space to understand and reflect on the concepts of shame and vulnerability. Not the book to grab fifteen minutes here or there. My break allowed me to sit for an hour or so at a time and really enjoy the moment of reading. We already know that multi-tasking is simply doing a number of things at the same time badly. Taking time out to do one thing at a time was a real gift. A gift I am going to be giving myself now that I am home. Why wait until you are on holiday to enjoy the present moment?

5. Focus on self and not others. When you are interacting with others online regularly, it can be so easy to start comparing others’ highlights to your out-takes. It can really get you down. I have never thought of myself as someone who compares myself with others, however with technology no longer a regular feature in my day to day life, I found myself feeling happier, lighter, better. I mean, it may have had something to do with our private pool, warm weather and cocktails on hand, BUT… Since returning to regular life in Melbourne, I have limited my technology and noticed a marked improvement in my mood. Again, I think there are opportunities to streamline my time to not just make the most of my day, but keep myself in optimal mental condition.

Overall, a learning experience and I’m keen to incorporate those learnings as life gets back to “normal”. Who knows, perhaps I’ll never need another holiday?

Have you taken a technology break? How much could you benefit from spending less time in front of a computer screen and more time in the sun/shade/pool? Share using your favourite button below…