Untouchable Days - Update I
Hello lovelies! A couple of weeks ago I talked about starting a new experiment, the Untouchable Days.
Today I'm back with a quick update on how it's going and a big, big encouragement for you to try them as well - because, spoiler alert, I absolutely love them.
How is it going so far with the Untouchable Days?
A quick recap: I now schedule an Untouchable Day once per week - a day where I'm not checking emails, not using my phone for Whatsapp, calls and Social Media, and where I'm not available for meetings.
Let's take a quick look at a few aspects essential to the Untouchable Day concept and see how I fared with them so far:
Scheduling them in has been surprisingly easy. I've now prescheduled them for about 3 months, and so far I haven't had to reschedule any, yay!
Keeping them meeting-free
This one has been a bit harder than the scheduling part. Especially in my work with Making Stories, we have to juggle three or four people's schedules to figure out meeting times so I got tempted a few times to offer a slot during an Untouchable Day.
You know what helped me not do it though? For one, the simple fact that these days are blocked out on my calendar. This gives me pause to think and reconsider if I really want to go through the hassle of rescheduling other meetings during that week in order to reschedule the Untouchable Day.
Secondly, I told my team mates over at Making Stories about the Untouchable Days and they're wonderfully accepting of the concept so that I can simply say "I'm sorry, but that's an Untouchable Day" and they won't press it any further.
Not checking emails
THE BEST. Seriously, the best thing. I'm so relieved that my inbox does not need to be opened during that one day, it's quite ridiculous even.
Also - I've grown up professionally in an environment where a response time of under an hour for emails was normal, even expected. So this exercise in not checking emails has provided me with the first steps towards being okay with taking longer to respond to emails. And that's something I think we can all use more of - time spent with email is NOT productive work time, at least most of the time, and the pressure we put on ourselves to respond faster and faster just doesn't seem healthy to me.
Not being on Social Media
Again, what a relief. One day a week without Instagram feels amazing right now.
Also, there are two interesting things that happened:
1. I realized again how much of a time suck Instagram is. Even though I *think* I only post a photo, I always end up scrolling or watching 10 minutes of Instagram Stories - and that adds up over the course of a day. The first day I spent without Instagram I was amazed at how much time I suddenly had!
2. I need to remember to schedule posts. I'm still trying to post on Instagram every single day because that is one of the main drivers of getting your posts seen, and I haven't always remembered to schedule my posts for the Untouchable Day in advance. I've forced myself to be okay with not posting, but I would like to get into a routine of scheduling them so that I don't have to worry about missing a posting slot anymore.
Not being on Whatsapp & private calls
This is the one thing that hasn't been as successful as I'd hoped, but that's also partly my fault. You might remember that I wasn't sure if I could just not be on Whatsapp for private messages, and that's proven to be true.
Honestly, I'm not even sure if I want to shut these messages out as I think they're not distracting me that much. But again, it could be like with checking Instagram - you don't realize how much of a distraction that is until you stop doing it.
I've come to a middle ground solution here where I will interact with close family, but will save responding to friends for the next day. So far that's working well, but I'm kind of tempted to try and just shut the phone off for the whole day to see what happens. (Anyone else scared of this?)
Overall, I'm absolutely loving the Untouchable Days! I get SO MUCH done, I'm way less stressed, and I feel like I have time to play again.
On my first Untouchable Day I had the urge to sew something, just for one, and pulled out a few linen scraps I've had for ages and made them into a patchwork wall hanging. Without feeling guilty about it, without feeling stressed, just with the pure joy of making something with my hands that I've missed SO much.
Another unexpected benefit that happened yesterday on the evening before the Untouchable Day was that I was able to fully enjoy and immerse myself in our local knit night without a thought to when I needed to get up in the morning or any emails that might need responding. The simple thought of having the next day fully available for work helped me be more present, and that felt wonderful.