Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a remote worker, or a freelancer (or even just a millennial like me), taking the time to turn off is hard. Even when I try to keep my phone away to take some time to relax, I feel a “ghost buzz”. It’s as though it’s right back in my pocket and anxiety overall about where it is.
It’s a mix of FOMO for fun things and stress about missed work opportunities or an important call. I find myself constantly checking my phone or laptop for emails, texts, DMs, PMs, Snaps, … you get the idea. With so many ways to communicate with someone, it’s difficult to keep track of them in general, but also causes stress and anxiety about missing something important.
With working on this blog, I have many aspirations for it. However, as I don’t know how to code, or much about social media marketing, or digital marketing in general, growing it takes a lot of time and patience. There are times where I feel myself getting frustrated and that’s when I know I should take a break.
Our brains were not built for extended focus and not taking breaks will actually make us more vulnerable to distraction. This article by Harvard Business Review goes into it in more detail but basically, you’re doing yourself more harm than good by not taking breaks.
For remote workers and those that work from home, we already face the potential judgement of those think we just sit around all day “not really working”. So I can understand why taking the time to turn off may be extra hard. Your livelihood is attached to “being connected” so disconnecting is quite difficult. But overall, it’ll be worth it. You’ll feel better and your work will improve for it.
Here are some of my suggestions when you take the time to turn off:
Catch up on a good book
If you give yourself specific working hours (which you really should to maintain boundaries with clients and remain more focused overall), outside of that time leave your phone and computer in another room. Truly take the time to turn off and catch up with a story. This keeps your mind distracted from your electronics and allows you to be immersed in another world.
Do something good for your body
When you work online, it is likely that you spend a lot of time sitting and in front of a screen. While things like standing desks or desk cycles will help, nothing works quite like going for a nice walk or run. Your eyes will get a break, you’ll elevate your heart rate, and get some nice fresh air.
Book a weekend getaway
If your home is your office (or even if it isn’t), getaway from your regular working routine. Take the time to turn off in a new destination. It doesn’t need to be somewhere far or fancy. Book an AirBnB in the next city over or go as far and exotic as you’d like. All that matters is you take the time to get away and unwind.
What’s your favourite way to take time to turn off? Let me know in the comments below!