Sometime in the afternoon yesterday, I remembered that I planned today, the day after Christmas, as work day. I remembered that I have a client call this morning at 8 am. And I remembered that I haven’t blogged in far too long.
Even though I love my work, I recoiled. It’s Christmas! What was I thinking to plan work for the day after?
It’s hard for me to switch between being offline and online. No modulation for me; I either do all in, with staying connected as a near-obsession, or (less often) I disconnect completely, and I loathe to even look at my iPhone.
I decided a couple of weeks ago to try one day offline, a technology Sabbath. And, I think it will work well for me; I think it will help me maintain more balance and perspective — if only I can figure out this process of re-entry.
photo credit The Wandering Angel
In the summer, when my girls enjoy daily trips to the pool, I ease in. One step at a time, slowly acclimating to the cool water. My girls, on the other hand, jump right in, every time. There’s that moment of shock, of course, and at times there are squeals and giggles, but, soon, they are splashing and playing, and completely adjusted it, while I am still on the stairs, still trying to “get used to it first.”
When it comes to work and staying connected, I am not sure it works to ease back in, unless you count the requisite lurking I do on Facebook, catching up on what everyone’s been sharing, before I share something myself.
Instead, re-entry to my online life requires that I just jump back in.
More than three weeks without a blog post? Write one.
Three days, no tweets? Send one, another, a half dozen.
Find a conversation, join it.
It’s the advice I’d give a client, and the advice I need to stick to myself. Whether it’s been ten weeks, ten days, ten hours, or ten minutes, the secret is to jump in.
Tell me something! Do you struggle to reconnect after time spent offline? How do you conquer the problem of re-entry? Do you jump back in, or slowly acclimate?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Becky, my experience is that you have to take the first step, no matter how small. Momentum builds behind it. Not motivated. No problem. Take the first step. You’ll build a head of steam behind it.
I agree, David. Incremental changes :-)! Thank you for taking the time to comment!
We observe a tech Sabbath on Sundays here. We are not 100% strict about it, I’ll logon as I’m preparing dinner sometimes to consult a recipe and/or turn on Spotify. But we find it to be a good way to observe Sunday as a special family day. One day weekly doesn’t seem to cause issues re-connecting.
Maybe as I get used to it, one day will not make a big difference. I think all the holiday stuff has changed my routines a bit. I’m looking forward to getting back into some productive routines.
I guess there are times when having a more than full time job has its advantages. My time online is much more limited. I have early morning hours, or later evening hours. It creates its own balance in a way. But the skills I want to hone, such as learning and practicing all that social media offers and the role it plays in business is then also limited. ~sigh~ Perfect is just a word. It’s not a state of being.
When I worked in a large office setting, we would make allowances for our colleagues who had just returned from vacation. Tip-toeing around them as much as possible while they struggled for at least a week after returning to the fray. We cut that person a little extra slack because they were wrestling with re-entry. It was most appreciated when the favor was extended to you.
I have been working at home for some time now and still deal with re-entry as you have described. I am a solo act, no one to tip-toe around me here. People on the “outside” are oh so fond of saying “how nice, you own your own company, you can take a day off whenever you like.” I suppose this is true but re-entry always looms large.
As I write this reply it is now two days Christmas past. I have yet to emerge from re-entry and climb that tall mountain to all in. It will come I suppose. It has to, right?
Just jump in, Dean! 🙂 2013 is going to be amazing!