A lot of stress dropped away while I was on holidays - I slept a lot better & didn't need to take a headache tablet the whole time I was away which was amazing. I put a lot of it down to the fact that I was virtually unreachable by people. Our society is increasingly instant - we "need" to be contactable immediately no matter where we are - no wonder we can't "turn off". I'm resolving to stop being so instantly available, to stop being online so much, to hopefully reduce stress, and create a lot more time to carry out my other goals for the year.
Some ways I'm going to try to achieve it:
Clocks / watches: A couple of nights before we went away I turned the clock off on my bedside table - we didn't need the alarm so there was no point having it on. It's amazing how much better I slept - if I did wake up I didn't look at the clock and then toss & turn because it was x o'clock and I couldn't get back to sleep. Obviously I won't be able to do this through the week (or Pete would never get to work lol), but I'm going to continue doing it where possible on the weekend. I also stopped wearing my watch while on holidays - how freeing does it feel! Again, I'm going to not wear it unless I need to be somewhere at a particular time.
Mobile: When mobiles first became popular I refused to have one because I didn't want to be able to be contacted if I was out. Once you get your first one though it's hard to go back. How often are the calls & messages I get urgent? Not often I don't think. I've been leaving it on silent and just checking every now & then - if I don't hear it I don't rush to the phone. If it's important, they'll leave a message (downside - paying for the extra message retrieval calls..) Will try it anyway - it worked well on holidays.
Computer: My BIG addiction! I'm going to limit my time on the computer - I tried a few things today and it worked well. I ran the laptop on battery - it goes into hibernate mode pretty quickly and takes a few minutes to come back out of it so it stops me ducking back to look something else up. I'm keeping a notebook beside the computer so I can jot down things I want to do / look up / write (like I did with this blog post!). I've moved my computer from next to the lounge (which is lovely & comfortable) to a desk (which is probably more ergonomically sound but not as comfortable lol) - this will hopefully stop me sitting down and staying there! Don't use the computer while I'm eaiting breakfast / lunch - a very bad habit I've gotten into!!!
* Yahoogroups - I moderate / own a few Yahoogroups (LETS, Freecycle and related ones). They survived for a week without me - if I'm only checking every few hours they *will* survive! I have other moderators - rely on them more.
* Email - email does not have to be instant communication!!! If I get a message through, it does *not* need to be answered straight away!! Limit my time on the email, and also the frequency I'm checking. Can some of the emails be done by snail mail? (eg personal greetings)
* Work email - I used to have my work email go through Outlook because it's a pain to check via webmail. I've had to remove it while I'm on holidays because clients are still sending me work to do (despite knowing I'm on holidays!) - if I saw that there was an unread message I just didn't have the willpower to *not* read it, and then I'd either stress about it or have to answer it. By having it on webmail it's a hassle so I don't check it. So while I'm working I'll connect it to Outlook, while I'm not I'll remove it (or maybe I just won't have the send / receive check it - will see what works best). This will hopefully remove a *lot* of stress and eliminate one of the huge problems about working from home - separating work & home time.
* Blogs / groups - Use folders more to organise my mail. May need to cull?? (eeek!)
* Make a list of jobs to do each day - NOT on the computer or it will just give me another excuse to be on it lol
* Stick to dedicated work time for paid work.
* Read books / write when I sit down at night.
Hopefully all of this will give me time to DO instead of just reading about doing. It'll be a good time to start now while I'm not back in the habit of using the PC - turning on my computer used to be the first thing I'd do of a morning :( Hopefully it will also rub off on the rest of the family - Pete is as bad with the computer and Billy uses the TV when he's bored..
This is a great blog post I skimmed yesterday on a similar topic - http://zenhabits.net/2008/01/3-ways-to-claim-your-life-back-how-to-step-away-from-your-computer/. I just read it in more depth and realised how good it really was!
And now it's time to turn off and go to bed!!!