Taking a week-and-a-half off from blogging has been a really great thing for me. I didn’t get online once while in Kauai. No e-mail, no Facebook, no Flickr, no podcasts–no internet activity of any kind. I didn’t even attempt to check phone messages. Taking a real break from work/teaching/blogging/podcasting has convinced me that this is something I need to try to do about once a year.
As I left for Hawaii, I was convinced that I would be suffering blog and podcast withdrawal. I brought a note pad to jot down blog ideas that I was sure would be coming to me throughout my vacation. As it turned out, I probably spent a total of 15 minutes thinking about the blog during vacation. I only said the word “blog” once or twice the whole time it was gone, and that was just in response to a question that my parents asked me.
Now that I’m back, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed, full of ideas and energy. I need to make sure to take a break like this again!
Everybody needs a break from their daily routine every so often, but with easy internet access becoming more common every year (heck, we had wi-fi even at our remote resort outside of Hanalei) it is so easy to stay connected. Checking e-mail and voice mail becomes like a nervous tic, and returning that one important e-mail or important phone call that just can’t wait leads to another…and another…and another.
Coming back to Chicago (and real life) means that I have a pile of untouched e-mail (around 400 messages), but that break is absolutely worth it. Even though, day to day, I don’t notice blogging taking a toll on me (it’s fun, after all–that’s why I do it), I really notice a difference in my outlook and energy after a break.
I’m going to plan on doing this once a year (taking a break–not getting married!), and I think that it will really help to both keep me from getting burned out and keep my enthusiasm up. I already take Saturdays off from blogging, giving myself a mini-break every week, and I think that one longer break each year will also be a good thing.