For me it’s a way of resetting the clock and spending some much-needed time with my (long-suffering!?!?!) husband – we could just stay at home and lock away the world but it’s nice to just get away from everything. So, this year I booked a cottage in Anglesey which is somewhere we’ve never been …. The cottage could not have been more isolated BUT it was just perfect! Tucked away in the north of the island in the middle of a wood with no WIFI and no mobile phone signal and a 20-minute walk to the beach and despite JustMaths dog still not liking the sea it has been bloody brilliant. We have spent the days walking, reading, talking and I’ve even done some work (not because I “had” to but because I wanted to!),
Being away from technology has been a major talking point for us and I’m very conscious that I am in danger of becoming a slave to my phone. Since January I haven’t had my work email on my phone and to be honest, I haven’t missed it AND I do think it’s made a difference to my work/life balance. (My JustMaths email is another matter and is a bloody mess but that’s a whole other story and I need to get a grip on it … I don’t like to reply emails on my phone as I am a little OCD about filing my emails away and if they’re on my phone they don’t appear on Outlook for some reason … I haven’t had time to investigate!) Think about it … is there anything to be gained by seeing an email that requires a response but not being able to reply to it because you are teaching or doing something else. NO! NO! NO! … it just adds to the stress of the job. However, that needs to be contextualised as I’ve been doing 6 lessons a day (out of 6 lessons!) for the 3 days I’ve been at school and being new from January means that I’m probably not on lots of email lists. You’d have to ask my colleagues if my not replying to stuff straight away is causing them headaches … what I have found is that IF its really important people will come and ask me directly (I know! Imagine talking to people!?!? Weirdos!!!) and that’s helping with efficiency too. Interestingly, one of the schools I’ve been at, had an informal embargo against sending emails after 5:30 (ish!) and I think that helped with the perception about the importance the school placed on work/life balance. It wasn’t policed and was all very informal which worked for me as I tend to work late and keep silly hours.
Ironically, following our return to civilisation I’ve been looking at the impact of technology and benefits of having a digital detox – (there’s a great infographic I found here -> DigitalDetox_2019 ) .. the below question really rings a bell for me!! .
Anyway, the point of the blog post is not to boast about having a restful week … its to tell you all to switch off and not be reading this bloody blog post. It’s the holidays! Go! Eat! Sleep! Do the housework! Get the car serviced and MOT’d! Walk the dog! Talk to your partner! Drink gin! Drink wine! Eat chocolate! Just Go!!