As I write this, I’m on the brink of starting my three-day, Independence Day weekend. It’s sure to be a great weekend, and to ensure that it is I am unplugging from technology for most of the weekend. Now, I’m not going too crazy. I’ll still be playing video games now and again so I’m not entirely unplugging, yet I’m not going to be bombarded with emails and other notifications throughout the weekend.
I urge you to do the same too.
I don’t have to tell you that as an indie developer, you are bombarded with notifications, instant messages, e-mails, and the like every single day. It feels as if you can’t get away from it, and while technology certainly makes our lives easier than it has ever been, we also start feeling as if there is no escape from our mobile devices constantly reminding us that we have a pending notification we need to look at.
Unplug this weekend – you will be glad that you did. Here’s why.
Reduce your stress levels
I’m a big fan of detaching myself from everything work-related once my work day is finished. However, that doesn’t stop me from looking at the e-mails and messages I receive after-hours that are work-related. I find that even though I may be reading a work email or message – and even if I don’t respond to it – I still feel a bit stressed. I’m reminded of the work I have to do the next day, and it keeps me from relaxing mentally.
As an indie developer, your days are stressful enough. You need to detach yourself after work, stop thinking about work, and do something relaxing for the rest of your day. For example, I find that reading a book is a great way to take my mind off of work and just mellow out for the rest of the day.
If you are taking a three-day weekend, I urge you to do this all weekend. Detach yourself from all aspects of work by turning off the mobile data of your mobile phone and only using it to call/send and receive text messages. Those Facebook notifications? Those direct messages on Twitter? Those emails about work-related questions? They can wait until Monday. For now, enjoy the long, Fourth of July weekend by unplugging.
You need your solitude
Finding solitude used to be as simple as turning off the television and just sitting down for a while. Nowadays, solitude is harder to find as we are always bombarded with a notification from our tablet, then our mobile device, perhaps our laptop, and even from our home consoles. Anymore, it seems as if you almost need to flip every breaker in your home and power off your mobile devices just to have a little bit of solitude.
Yet, you need it. There’s something to be said about sitting in a room where everything is quiet, nothing is happening, and you are alone with only your thoughts and feelings. It’s peaceful and relaxing – and it’s something you need to try at least once this weekend. Believe me: you will come away feeling relaxed and stress-free.
Because life is happening directly in front of you
I enjoy browsing Reddit as much as the next person and even enjoy seeing what my friends and family are doing on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a solid way to keep tabs on those you care about, and in the case of Reddit – a fantastic way to learn about new ideas, happenings, and discussions (really, Reddit is downright great). Yet, it’s easy to find ourselves spending too much time on networks such as these and not spending enough time in the real world.
The same goes for video games, films – anything else.
As easy as it is to view the world around us, the best parts of life are happening directly in front of us. The next time you spend a moment with friends and family, don’t use your mobile device. Instead, focus on what’s most important in the moment: spending quality time with those you care about. Your news feed? It can wait until later. Heck, the items currently on your news feed? You probably wouldn’t remember any of them the next day anyway!
Unplugging and relaxing is one of the best things you can do to take advantage of this extra-long weekend. Guaranteed: Monday morning, you will awake feeling more refreshed than ever!
Don’t wait: take advantage of this weekend – and make it yours!