"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

12/6/13

Technology Breaks

This post is part of Patty Wysong's 
 A to Z meme. This week's letter is "T."
 A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
Three years ago next month, I started something in my life that, at the time, scared me to death. It overwhelmed me for a while (especially the very first time), but has come to be an event that I truly look forward to, and that has benefitted me in so many ways.

What is it? My biweekly (currently) tech-free day.

You may have heard me refer to it here on occasion - more often when I was first starting it than recently. On my tech-free day, I refrain from use of my computer (other than an AdAware scan that takes several hours), texting on my phone (my phone is "dumb and dyslexic" - the only thing I CAN do on it is text and make phone calls), and most uses of my Kindle Fire (my daily Bible reading is on there, so I still do that, and I'll check/add to my online calendar if necessary). Basically from bedtime the night before until I boot up the morning after, I am unplugged.

Made this button myself 3 years ago
My first one, back in January of 2011, went fairly well (see this post I did on "how I survived" if you're interested), though I missed the interaction, and "catching up" the day after was crazy (I still remember - and I must say I downplayed it in the post I link to up there). It took a while for that to get settled, but soon my "tech-free Tuesday" was something I looked forward to each month - and that benefits me greatly.

Why?
  • When "online" was overwhelming me and/or I was ready to toss my computer out the window, I knew I had a day coming up when I could completely and totally ignore it.
  • It forced me (sometimes kicking and screaming!) to spend some time in the "real world" every once in a while.
  • I ignore housework day-to-day as a rule - and do much better with it when I have a large chunk of time to invest in it. Guess how I spend much of my tech-free time?
  • It has helped my mood AND productivity.
In the past three years, my tech fast has changed some. I've gone from once a month to twice a month, and most recently to every other week (when it's basically the only time you clean, it DOES make a difference! :::r::: ). The day has switched from Tuesday to Thursday. I've gone from announcing it on my blog to not. The "rules" had to be adjusted when I added my Kindle Fire to the mix (note - it isn't pictured in my original graphic above). Probably other things I'm not remembering.

But it's a part of my life now - and a very, VERY beneficial one. No matter how terrified I was of it back when my first one was still on the horizon. In fact, this post was written early, because yesterday, I was on my first tech fast of December. :)

I recommend them for everyone. Truly.

So, when are YOU going to take your next (or first!) technology fast?



My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1 
Check out more T posts below, or share your own!

14 comments:

  1. I don't feel the need to take a break from it! :). Other than work, it's the only socialization I get. But good for you for breaking away as needed. You do have responsibilities with your family so people are definitely more important than seeing who's doing what on Facebook.

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    1. I can definitely understand that, Barb! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Good for you! I couldn't do it. Too much of my routine involves using my laptop!

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  3. Wish you could :). But I DO understand. Thanks for stopping by, Tom!

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  4. Great challenge for us, Joanne and opportunity to get some housecleaning accomplished in the process. :) I'll have to give it a try.

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    1. My house is TRULY looking lovely today :). You won't regret it - and I'd love to hear how it goes with ya!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I intend to incorporate tech-free days into my 2014 schedule. I look forward to the first one. Thanks, Joanne!

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    1. Can't wait to hear how it goes, Rita! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. :)

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  6. This is a very good idea. The moment we say, "I can't live without it" is the moment we need to take a break from it. I blush to admit how I start getting twitchy when I've been away from my computer for awhile. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. I ABSOLUTELY agree, Karen! Hope you give it a try - and that it is as helpful to you as it is to me!

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  7. Joanne, housework, or rather the lack of it, is what puts me on a guilt trip. I've been telling myself I need to break from my computer and wield my feather duster. Who knows? The action might inspire a sword-dueling, swash-buckling story. Ha!

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    1. Hehe - whatever works! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Great post, Joanne!

    Recently, I've had to revert to an older version of my Smartphone, which doesn't have as many features as my Galaxy S III, so I don't spend as much time on the older model as I did on the newer.

    Some days, I don't turn on the computer at all, and i find that I pay for it in having to delete a bunch of emails I know I'll never get time to read.

    As much as I enjoy my Kindle aps on my computer and my phone, there are times when I love to just sit down with a 'real live' print book and delve into the pages. It's a different experience than reading the words off of a screen somehow.

    As for housework, oh yeah, any excuse to get out of it! LOL!

    I'm hoping in 2014 to be able to set up some kind of schedule for the techie gadgets in my life.

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    1. Sounds like you have a plan there, Patti! Thanks for stopping by, and for the encouragement!

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