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4 Things You Can Learn From My Week Without Email

Last week our email was down for eight days and this website was unreachable for six. I was not a happy camper. I fully admit it, I rely on email and I enjoy writing. I don’t like when something I need and rely on isn’t available to me.

By Saturday, I began to reflect on what the week looked like without a slice of technology. I realized a few things from that week which I hope stay with me.

What a week without email can teach you.

We depend on email

Email is important in our household. My husband keeps up with his favorite stores and shops and I keep up with my favorite bloggers. More importantly though, we keep in touch with family and receive almost all of our monthly bills electronically.

Additionally, with the blog and business I need email to communicate with my readers, businesses I work with and colleagues.

Bottom line – I need email. I don’t sit and wait with baited breath to see if an email comes in but I check it at least twice a day. I think electronic communication today is the norm and I don’t feel bad about it. I don’t need my email on my phone. At least not my blog email or my school email. I don’t need to that tied to technology every moment of every day. 

Take Away TipHow many email are you getting that you actually open? Yes, I’m a blogger and I’m suggesting you unsubscribe to stuff. Even me if you have to. Additionally, create folders and set up rules to have email go directly to specific folders. Then, you can go through the folders when you have time. I do this with my Traditional Cooking School email and other class/course content I don’t want to accidently delete.

I have goals I’m not meeting

I have failed this year.

There were so many goals I wanted to meet and I bet I didn’t even meet 5 of them. In fact, I was so discouraged when I went through my New Year Goal Sheets that I threw them away and cried for a good ten minutes.

I had personal goals, business goals, blogging goals, financial goal, household goals, marital goals, parenting goals and more.

Life has a way of taking over and goals get left behind. I need to be more intentional about working on my goals. The praying and planning part I’ve got down but once life gets busy I forget what my 6-month and 1-year and 5-year goals are.

Bottom Line – Goals are just as frivolous as new-year resolutions if they aren’t embraced and sought after all year long.

Take Away TipWhat goals are you not meeting? If your list of goals is overwhelming consider breaking them down into smaller, more manageable ones. Instead of “Save $500 by January” make it “Save $45 a week.” Then, make your goals a part of your everyday life. Don’t write them down and forget about them. Meeting goals is often about changing your thinking as well as your behavior.

I don’t’ scrapbook near enough

I have few hobbies. Cooking, sewing, and scrapbooking are what I enjoy. Lucky for me cooking comes with the job of Mom and sewing happens by necessity sometimes. I’d like to expand my sewing skills but where I really find enjoyment is scrapbooking. I need to be intentional about carving out a bit of time to scrap even if it’s only 30 minutes a week. I can get a page done, sometimes 2 and I at least feel like I’m making progress.

Bottom Line – Hobbies cannot control our lives, but an outlet of enjoyment should not be overlooked. As wives and mothers, it is easy to go overwhelmed with life and let the duties and responsibilities overshadow the outlets that bring us some release and creativity.

Take Away Tip – What is your creative outlet? Be intentional about keeping your hobbies in sight.

Facebook is a time-sucking vortex

As a blogger, I rely on social media to connect with other bloggers and my followers. There’s no point in writing if you aren’t reaching anyone, right? As I evaluate my habits I know that I like to get a task complete. When I start, I want to get it done. But one thing I’ve noticed about myself is that when I’m overwhelmed with a mound of blog and business related tasks and I feel like I have no time to accomplish them, I tune out and tune in, to Facebook. Instead of chipping away slowly at my To Do list,  I default to scanning Facebook which sucks away all the time I have to do real work.

Part of this is my habit and response to the stress of my To Do list but part of is the draw of Facebook. My newsfeed has more from bloggers and blogging network groups than family and friends so I tend to justify my time as being “about the business” but it’s just an escape nonetheless. I do enjoy reading posts from family as well so it “keeps me connected”.

Bottom Line – I need to limit Facebook again. Last time I ran into this snag I used the Stay Focusd Chrome Extension which allows you to set a predetermined amount of time you can be on a site and when it expires you have 24-hours until you can use the site again.

Take Away Tip Are you really being productive online or just passing time? Social media outlets can be educational, like finding recipes, DIY projects, and homeschooling stuff on Pinterest. Often though the line between education and information gets missed and we fall into passing endless hours staring at our devices doing nothing. It’s not really necessary. Set a time limit.

A week without email can teach you a great deal16

Our email is back up and working just fine now. I’ve been unsubscribing to things like airline discount email (we flew once….when Wyatt was 3 months old…..he’s now 5) and other such stuff we don’t need. Technology is great, but I don’t want it taking over my life.

Are you technology dependent? How do you balance the real world and your online life?

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  1. I totally agree with you about Facebook. I have gotten really behind with keeping up with things I care about. I think I’m going to challenge myself to be off of Facebook for a month. I also connect with many people through Facebook but I know it is a huge time waster for me. It will be interesting.

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