I had promised that this post would be about what I did on my Technology Break–the time that I spent luxuriating with family, friends, fiction, fitness, food and fantasies about the Via Francigena. But, after I wrote the title, and published teaser photos, I felt that the rest was self-explanatory.
Adding to my concerns about sounding redundant, when I’ve tried to think of the best way to begin that post — crickets! My mind went blank.
Instead, my brain has been pondering some of the takeaways from my time away. One of these discoveries is Parkinson’s Law. This is the theory that any activity expands (or contracts) to fit the time allocated. It’s a theory which my husband understands fully, and one in which I remain remedial. If there’s a task to be done that Richard figures should only take fifteen minutes, he leisurely has a coffee, reads the paper, watches the news….and fifteen minutes before he needs to leave the house, he begins the task. He usually achieves his desired goal. No drama, no fanfare.
Remedial me, on the other hand, will begin my task as early as possible. I say that I’m being efficient and want to get the job done and out of the way. But, because I’ve given myself tons of wiggle room, tasks have a way of taking more time than they should. Parkinson found that even straightforward chores increase in complexity to fill the time allotted. When the same tasks are given a shorter time period for completion, they tend to become simpler and easier to finish. This expansion/contraction can be a benefit, or a detriment, depending on the given situation.
I quickly noticed that Parkinson’s Law also applied to my technology break. As soon as I stopped blogging, and significantly reduced my screen time, summer immediately seeped into the vacated spaces and took over. I was never once bored or left wondering what I should do next. Like the new retiree who questions how s/he had time to work, I wondered how I had found the time to blog. As my prime summer activity was spending time with family and friends, this is where my newly released time went. Conversations were rich and unhurried. My multi-tasking tendencies began to reduce. I’m not usually one to use the term ‘mindfulness,’ but I began to feel its presence. Often.
When discussing my technology break with a friend, he commented: “everyone needs Lent –forty days away to help them reflect, refocus and reset.” Wise words from a wise man.
I valued my technology break, the time that it gave and the lessons that it taught. I am grateful to resume blogging and to reconnect with friends in this community. Friends who share their perspectives on life from around the world.
My task now is to keep this balance and reduce my multi-tasking. As summer is still in full force, and we have additional travel plans, it will be a challenge — but one that I fully accept.
Have you ever taken a technology or blogging break? If so, what was your biggest takeaway?
Feature Photo Credit: Rima Kruciene, Unsplash.