It’s that time of year again, when kids are breaking up from school, the sun is shining and everyone is thinking about their summer break, whether that’s a holiday in the sun shine, or some time spent at home. For me this year, it involves a road trip with all of my family to Italy.
Road trips are something of a tradition in our family. Every year we take off for a couple of weeks, load up the mini van and head off to a place in Europe. We make stops along the way and see places of interest and we always have a great time.
But, the one thing that I love about it most (apart from having quality time with the kids; eating amazing food; and seeing some awesome places) is the time I take consciously to go completely off-line. Like so many people my days comprise of responding to e-mails; engaging with people on social media; tapping away on a laptop; and having my phone or my tablet on hand to speed things up a bit. Not a day goes by without one of these gadgets pinging something at me that either requires my attention or presenting something shiny for me to get distracted by, so it’s really no shock that by the time the summer comes by I am desperately craving some time off.
I have spoken to a few people about this very topic, and surprisingly many have said that they can’t afford to take the time off from work. That where-ever they go, their gadgets go too so that they can keep on top of everything (especially their emails) ensuring they’re not completely swamped on their return. But in truth, we can’t afford not to. It’s a scientific fact that when we allow our brains to take some well-deserved ‘time off’ we actually come up with our best ideas, and ‘light bulb’ moments and not only do we reduce our stress levels, but it helps us to solve problems and make decisions.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-gadget. In fact I love them. They make my life easier in so many fantastic ways, but the feeling of being constantly accessible or just having a mindless distraction at my finger tips can be a bit draining after a while, and right now my brain is craving that down time. No e-mails; no texts; no phone calls; no Twitter, no Linkedin, and definitely no Facebook! Instead, I plan to get lost in my own thoughts with a good old fashioned note book and pen. In fact, each year I return home with an abundance of great ideas for projects and a list of goals for the year ahead ready for me to put into action.
So, this year, I am setting a challenge. Hide your gadgets, grab a notebook and pen and give your brain the holiday it so desperately needs…and just watch those ideas come flooding in!
Let me know what you think.