I returned to work yesterday after having three weeks off during the Christmas and New Year’s break. I have come back more refreshed and focussed than I have for many years which is a great way for me to start 2015.
I spent some time this morning reflecting on why this is the case. What did I do differently over the break that I had not done previously? Why was my mind a lot clearer and uncluttered than it had been returning to work in previous years?
I could perhaps pin it down to moving house down to a great spot down at the beach which makes me feel like I am on holidays all the time! I could look at the great time I had with family and friends which was very enjoyable. Was it the time spent with my partner and children without feeling or thinking about returning to work the next day?
I think the items above all contributed in a small way to the renewed energy and focus leading in to 2015. However, the main factor that I feel that has driven it was the time spent away from technology over the last three weeks. I effectively did not look at my phone or iPad and very rarely logged on to my computer during this period. I didn’t feel the need to constantly check my emails, ensure I have not missed a call and recheck the internet or social media to see if someone loves me, if I have interactions or activity occurring.
This period was a marked change from the previous 49 weeks of the year where technology does drive a lot of my focus, activity and subsequently my energy levels. Low energy, heightened anxiety levels as I am constantly checking in to see what is going on not to mention being distracted and disrupting me doing the work that matters. By the time the end of the day comes, I can feel exhausted but for all the wrong reasons! It was ironic that I increased my level of exercise significantly during the holiday period. I suspect the emptying of my cup of the technology fixes, my mind was keen to take on more physical activity!
On reflection leading in to a new year, even though I try to minimise the impact, I don’t think I have been as effective as I would like to be in managing technology and its demands based on how good I currently feel having spent three weeks without it. As part of my goal setting and planning for 2015, I have put a focus on having technology free days and even going as far as not taking my phone and devices with me wherever I go.
I look forward to seeing this continued increase in energy that I can spend on other activities that I enjoy, not to mention being more in the moment with those that I am with. It might be worth doing the same as I suspect similar results will follow for you and others that interact with you.