Things I know – Blogging Mini-Breaks

Changed Priorities Ahead

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It’s been an enlightening and intriguing week. After being on the crazy treadmill of blogging and all it’s associated social networking off-shoots, I had to prioritise a little mini-break, or my body kind of forced me too, I was so exhausted. So what did I learn?

What I know about why I needed a mini-break

A large part of what had been driving my addiction was that my blogging friends are like my Mother’s Group, especially since I don’t actually have an active one since bub #2 arrived. That provided some helpful insight about the motivation behind my blogging behaviour.

By letting myself get so mentally, emotionally and physically tired, I was affecting my heath and ability to be an effective wife, parent, and human being.

I am so sleep deprived from having a 7 month old baby and my crazy blogging behaviour that even after waking from a rare two hour nap, I still wasn’t refreshed.

I needed to take the helm and steer the use of my time ie: become the captain of my ship, rather than allowing myself to be tossed about aimlessly. That elapsed time can NEVER be regained, so I must use it wisely.

I needed more than punitive self-discipline to make a change. I needed a rewarding motivation to change my behaviour. I chose to be a more present mother and wife for my family and to care for my health.

What I learnt from the mini-break

The initial withdrawal symptoms didn’t last as long as I thought they might. After about 30 minutes, those Twitter handles and blog names that had been running through my head first thing in the morning stopped.

It was easier than I expected.

Words have power. It helped with commitment and accountability to verbalise the boundaries and say out loud, to myself and my partner, what I was or wasn’t going to do with my time and priorities.

While I don’t see blogging as a job, I can see it’s similarity to work in that most of us need to take the weekends off to refresh and recuperate. Why not do the same with blogging?

When we take the weekends off, or even a longer break, do our work friends forget we exist? No. So I took a punt that my blog community would still be there even if I took a few days off. And what a pleasant surprise to find when I logged back in that I had been appointed joint Blogger of the MO by Jess from Diary of a SAHM! Totally forgotten? I guess not.

I really needed the time to focus on my family. It’s made me feel more connected to them.

I must work on a proper schedule of priorities for blogging, and basically, the rest of my daily life, so I can keep things in perspective and in their rightful places (For some practical tips about how to do this, check out Crash Test Mummy’s post {Crash Results} How to Make Time for Blogging)

I must commit to regular mini-breaks.

So, have you taken a blogging mini-break or are you considering one? If you have, what did you learn? If  you haven’t, what’s stopping you?

.

Related Posts

The Post that Morphed into a Vlog
Feeling Random

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Blogger of the Mo

Diary of a SAHM - Blogger of the Mo

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Linking with Shae of Yay for Home! for Things I Know and Glowless of Where’s My Glow for FlogYoBlogFriday (FYBF)
  Where's My Glow FYBF

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39 thoughts on “Things I know – Blogging Mini-Breaks

    • Thanks so much, Kate. I’ve settled, for now, on weekends off (for the most part – Instagram and Pinterest excluded!). It means packing a lot in during the week though but I do feel better for it after doing it for two weekends now. I keep hearing the words in the back of my mind, “They are only young once.” Indeed!

  1. I think you make some excellent points here. I semi-frequently take “online holidays”, where I basically unplug except for email (due to work, I can’t turn it off) and don’t use the Internet at all for a period of time, usually 3-7 days depending on my level of burnout. I’ve been blogging since 2004 and tweeting since 2008, and I’m sure a large part of the reason I *still* am is that I don’t drive myself on with it constantly.

    At the end of the day, the Internet will always be there to come back to … some of those moments in family life are much more fleeting, and much more precious for it.

    • Thanks for visiting and weighing in with your thoughts. It makes sense you do what you do in order to have staying power. I have read stats recently that say so many stop blogging quite early on. Burnout is real. I noticed you are taking a blogging break right now. I hope you have a good one.

  2. I have at least one full day away ‘disconnected’ and at least one other day where I only attend to the bare basics – that means no twitter or Facebook – just commenting on my fave blogs and returning work related email. It’s not aways easy but I feel so much better when I just commit.

    Good luck with your personal mini-break strategies!

    • Thanks, Kirri. It’s been two weeks for me know and I have found keeping it properly compartmentalised, instead of letting it spill over into almost every moment of every day has made me feel much better and more in control too. I am still fine-tuning it all but I do have faith I’ll get there. It’s just an interesting challenge fitting in worthwhile new blogs, like yours!

    • Thanks! And yes it was. Totally unexpected. Cold Turkey works too for some. I just needed to do it a bit at a time and so far, two weekends off has been good. I just haven’t been able to drop Instagram on the weekend but I see that as photography, not just social networking so have excused myself for that. 😉

  3. I’ve taken breaks – up to a week at a time and then I find it really hard to get going again. I miss blogging when I’m not doing it and the people in the blogging community. They *are* my people but sometime you need to step away and just be with yourself and your family for a while. I get that.

    • Hi Tiff. When I decided I had to take a break, I thought that I’d try weekends off. That was a bite I could chew. I didn’t know if I could do a whole week off. I get the need for the community too. I became a blogger because I wanted that interaction too so it’s hard to totally forget about it. I’ve switched off for the most part for two weekends now, so I can be more present with my family, and am feeling better during the week for it. I’m still fine-tuning how I manage my blogging, tweeting, etc during the week. I’m now roughly recording the time I spend on social networking activities and it is still several hours a day. I’ll see what happens in a week or two. I want to make sure I am getting other priorities done too.

  4. Sounds like the break was very good for your soul. Great advice. I went on a mini-break too, though not planned, just that life got busy and blurry. I didn’t feel guilty about not blogging, but I did start to worry if I could write a coherent sentence when I came back! I think I’ve had to reassess how often I aim to write. I’m thinking once a week might be realistic for me at the moment. And don’t worry, you won’t be forgotten! People who value your voice will always come back to it. 🙂

    • It was, Deb. I’ve done it two weeks in a row and don’t intend stopping now. It works to keep the weekends relatively free of social networking so I am engaged with my family who are not there during the week when I am a SAHM. Taking a week off would’ve been a bit more scary. I’m still fine-tuning how I manage all the facets of social networking but I’ll get there. I saw your post about writer’s block. I hope it got some creative juices flowing. When I let go a bit, I found mine started to flow too.

    • Thanks, Maria. I’m trying to get some perspective. Days rush by awfully quickly between chores, baby feeds and naps, dinner prep, etc. I just have to make sure blogging related activities are not the only things that fill the gaps. I do want and need a more all-rounded life than that. Hopefully I’ll just become more expert and blogging efficiently and quickly with time. Fingers crossed!

  5. I think I may have to take a break soon, as I am so swamped with everything else that come November I may ease up a little. Not that I post every day now but some sort of Social Media detox may be in order to return me to my real world for a while… Sounds like it was beneficial for you, which is great!

    • Thanks, Donna. It’s funny many of us feel the need to “de-tox” as if it’s bad for us. I guess it’s all about balance and perspective. The weekends off so far are working for me. The rest is still a work in progress but I trust I’ll get there. At least I’m not feeling as random and overwhelmed as I was. That, in itself, is success to me. I hope you get the chance to find some breathing space too, whatever form that comes in.

    • Thanks, Kel. Jess is indeed lovely for setting up that award and granting it to me too. Very unexpected and humbling. My weekend mini-breaks are working for me pretty well so far so I’m going to stick to them. They are manageable and have made a difference in how I approach everything about what I’m doing here but also in my daily life. You seem so full of boundless energy and enthusiasm but do take a break if you feel you need it. It definitely can’t hurt.

    • Thanks, Gemma. We are generally a prolific bunch. I’ve added tons of bloggers to my RSS reader, though I have categorised them and don’t read all. But that little number pops up telling me how many posts are there to be read and it only takes a couple of days for it to hit the mid-hundreds. It can all be noise, even if there is good stuff in there because it’s just too much. That’s where I was heading trying to take it all in but finally realising I couldn’t. The weekend mini-breaks are doing good things for me. Even though technology is so much a part of our lives, we still live in this tangible, physical world that we need to engage in. Otherwise it’s like being stuck in the matrix. I’ve seen your encouragements to keep connected IRL. Thanks for setting that example!

    • Hi Caz. Glad to hear you felt rejuvenated by the break. I liked not feeling all that buzzy tension in my mind and thoughts. When I did dive back in, it was less frantic. You could probably do with the extra time to try and get some kip. I know I am still trying to make up the sleep-deprivation myself, seven months on!

  6. I have been forced to take a couple of breaks, being on holidays and then away from home for another 10 days. Although a bit frustrating, it was also good for everyone to have a bit more of my attention. I can’t believe how time consuming it can be, if you let it. If I don’t feel it, I’m not going to force posting just for the sake of “getting something out there”.

    I actually think twitter is the big black hole I could fall into if I let it. Soooo addictive!

    And congratulations on being Blogger of the Mo’! Definitely deserved!.

    • Thanks, Lee. I liked that I chose to be in control of my mini-breaks (now set for each weekend), which meant I felt more in control during the week. I was happier that when I was with my kids, they didn’t always see me on an iPhone, iPad or Macbook. I know it’s time-consuming because I’ve taken my efforts one step further this week and am recording how much time I’m doing bloggy stuff, replying, commenting, posting, twitter, etc. It’s a lot! I will have to fine-tune it because I need to be a responsible mother and wife and be sure other things get done too. With Twitter, I found it could be a black hole too so I’ve stopped jumping on all the time and targeted certain times. I’ve also given myself time limits. I’m only loosely following them but following them I am. Otherwise I found I was just commenting here and there and then tweavesdropping, waiting to see who was there and who might tweet with me. Funny thing is, many of us were all probably doing the same and didn’t know we were online together! I decided I’d better stop that as a regular thing because it was becoming addictive and a time waster. It’s all a work in progress!

  7. I haven’t taken an official one but have had a few days off posting and social media and its been lovely. A scheduled break might be something I’ll consider at Christmas time

    • Thanks for visiting. I’ve only been consciously at it for two weeks but I have found keeping the weekends free (for the most part) has been good. It’s the time when all the family is together and i want to be more present than I have been when we are together. So far so good. It is interesting how things look a bit different when you have been offline for a bit, or at least I found that to be the case.

    • Even a forced break can be good. It gives you the chance to notice the difference. If you are managing it all well, then it’s not a big deal but I know, for me, I needed to do something more concrete to get things in control. Two weeks on, so far, so good! Thanks for your visit.

  8. Through blogging I found out I have my mother’s workaholic tendencies. I worked around the clock for six weeks straight (when I wasn’t at the computer or on the iPad, I was thinking about my blog). Then I crashed an burned for three weeks. Now I’m at the stage where I realise I can’t do it all and that thrashing myself to try and ‘be seen’ and build a profile isn’t in anyone’s best interest. I’ve travelled to a place now where I try to be realistic about what I can achieve and the fact that that might not make my star soar but then again I can live with that. I’ve made a few blogging friends along the way that I didn’t have before and that is really lovely. I have a higher profile than I did in the first 5.5 years of blogging and that’s enough for me for now because other people and other priorities need me and I’m no superwoman.

    You know, the really good thing about blogging is that you can take weekends and long weekends and they don’t have to be ON the weekend! You can blog whenever you feel like and you don’t have to travel anywhere to work. I want to try and make those positives work for me.

    • Hi Sif. I can relate to the “workaholic” tendency. I have that too. I used and wasted years of my pre-child bearing years doing that and almost missed being a mother. Until I chose and scheduled my weekend mini-break, I was thinking about blogging an awful lot too. It sat in my mind like a hat on my head that wouldn’t come off. But choosing the mini-break meant I was able to switch off and be in control, instead of it controlling me. I think that’s the thing with these workaholic tendencies. They feed on themselves and what started as you putting in extra effort generates this momentum that keeps you running even when you really have no energy left. It takes control of you. It only took me how many years to start learning this lesson and I am obviously still learning it. I’m meeting my blogging goals for now, even with my newly scheduled mini-break, and that needs to be good enough for me too.

    • I have found Twitter the same, Shae. I’ve had to just keep the phone in my pocket or stop opening the app. Self-control; it’s actually started to work! I wish I could say the same for my relationship with chocolate!

  9. I’m actually planning to unplug completely for the next week and concentrate on my family and getting some rest before returning to Australia.

    I’m a type B person, so schedules don’t work for me. What works is the realisation that I can’t do everything (not at the same time, anyway) and priorities. When I feel overwhelmed I stop and think, ‘what is the most important thing for me right now?’ and then I drop everything else until number 1 is taken care of.

    • I hope you do get some quality R & R and family time, Tat. I like your approach. I think I’m more a type A person (though feel I fail often) but the idea of keeping priorities in mind is a good one. Is there an in-between category? Maybe I’m a type AB person? Needing structure but also willing to be flexible. I like the idea of the work the Planning Queen does, for example, but am just not sure I can stick with it. Or does that just make me lazy!? I don’t know enough about type A or B categorisations to know for sure. Oh well. I’ll just keep doing my best and so far, I think I am onto a good thing. Travel safe on your way home.

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