Tuesday, 19 January 2016

How I Switch Off Blogging At The End of the Day

As rewarding and enjoyable as blogging is, it's still a tough gig, especially when it comes to how much time blogging requires, and further tries to demand from us all. Whether we're just maintaining a blogging hobby or a full-scale business adventure, it can be difficult to switch off to blogging and actually call it a night.

I've been there, staying up until all hours, typing up that post that probably could have waited another day or two, rather than actually getting a good nights kip. I'm not your mother, so I'm not going to tell you how a lack of sleep isn't good for your health and why, but I am going to tell you that you don't have to live that way, and I'm about to give you the secrets to how I switch off blogging at the end of the day.

Switch Off Your Mobile Notifications While You Sleep

I wouldn't be wrong in guessing that your morning routine is much like what mine used to consist of. You wake up, you roll over, you grab your phone and check out what it is you've missed. You might have Twitter notifications, likes from Instagram or Pinterest, or maybe you received an influx of emails and newsletters through the night (because damn those time zones suck!) Before you know it, you've spent half an hour lazing in bed, checking your messages, resulting in you missing your train and being late for work. Bummer.

Switching off your mobile notifications allows you to wake up slowly, and more naturally.

I still have a dirty habit of checking my emails whenever I get a new one, and I can get around 12+ emails a day from either subscriptions, from newsletters, from correspondence and more. That's at least 12 times in one day that I'm checking my phone, and that's not including social media. However, a study by Elizabeth Dunn and Kostadin Kushlev showed that the less people checked their emails, the less stressed they were, and the better their general well-being was. Speaking of stress, did you know that high levels of stress can lead to insomnia? I don't know about you, but I love my sleep, and being a stress-head is not helping one bit.

If switching off your notifications sounds a tad daunting, or you feel you'd forget to switch them back on, (although trust me, that's not actually a bad thing) try setting your phone to switch into sleep mode before getting some shut-eye instead, and set it to come out of sleep mode at a specific time in the morning. This way, you'll be less tempted to check your phone if you're struggling to drift to sleep, and it's less likely to be the first thing you do in the morning after switching off that wretched alarm.

Make People Aware of 'Operating Hours'

You don't have to be a savvy business mogul to have operating hours, and you should think they're just for extremely busy people either. Setting operating or office hours is one the best things you can do for yourself and your blog, much like it's really important to set office hours for your business.

Related: Three Reasons You Need To Set 'Office Hours' - Erin E. Flynn

Operating hours let people know when you're likely to be available, but they also make sure you know when you should be the most productive with your time. If you decide that between the hours of 6-8pm that you'll be working, replying to messages, making connections and working on blog content, setting your operating hours to those times means that you'll work better and produce the best result you can because you know there's no other than available to do it. Don't be afraid to say 'I'm only available at these times' - you'll earn more respect, and you'll get more common curtesy too.

Keep Pen and Paper In Reach Rather Than Your Phone

One of the worst things about drifting off the sleep is that it certainly feels like your brain, nine times out of ten, has others ideas, and produces some of the best content ideas you've ever had in your life, and you know that if you jot that idea down, it's gone forever, but if you do start developing the idea, you'll never sleep. I used to have Evernote installed on my phone in case I ever wanted to edit posts, take down ideas or even get started on something while trying to drift off to sleep, but news flash, staring at a bright light when you're trying to sleep is not a wise idea.

Pen and paper however is a much better idea, not only because it allow you to get your idea down without the means of relying on technology, but it's also been shown to make you more calm and more aware of yourself and your thought process. Writing allows the brain to slow down and process things much easier and clearer, as it does starve you of distractions that your phone or computer could provide. If you're the kind of person that gets late night burst of ideas, keep a pad handy and take it down rather than write it up.

Switching off to blogging at the end of the day is actually not only good for you, but it's good for your blog, and your readership. Knowing when you're likely to be available, when you should be most productive, and when it's time to call it a day and get some sleep is super important, and it's the reason I started by switching off my notifications of a night time. Waking up with a clear phone means I'm free to wake up and start my day with no distractions, and I'm not only starting my day off on a much more positive note, but I'm also comparing myself to others less, and checking my phone a lot less often during the day. It's well worth taking a step back from your blog and your phone once in awhile, because as Alexandra Frazen said:

'There has to be a better way of living in the modern world and engaging with technology.

I trust that, collectively, as a human race, we will figure it out.

Step #1 is simple:

Put your freaking phone… down.'

What do you do to switch off to blogging?


  1. Ooh, this is a hard one for me. I guess the answer is probably I don't switch off very often. xD Like I'll be out or whatever and not think about blogging for half a day, but I'm always checking my emails. :P I do wait for kinda important emails a lot, so that makes me check all. the. time. I'm not gonna say it's the "best" way to do things, but it makes me calmer, so I go with that. XD And insomnia aghhhh....I've had insomnia since forever, so I actually find it calming to use my iPod if the sleeping is scarce. And pen and paper are useless for me because MY DOG EATS THEM. HELP AMANDA. HOW DO I TELL MY DOG NOT TO EAT MY STUFF?!?! XD Ahem. He tried to bite my iPod too,t he other day, so I'm guessing this dog just has problems. -_-

  2. I'm definitely guilty of checking my phone first thing in the morning! I've been trying to wean myself off doing so by switching off my notifications and then putting my phone far away from me! I also like pen and paper, but only to the extent to flesh out my ideas. Interesting post :)
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

  3. Oh gosh this one is so hard. I think turning off mobile notifications is a good idea but I'm just the teeniest bit obsessed. I had to learn not to check my email obsessively when I queried agents a while ago so I'm not too bad with that. I'm addicted to checking for new comments though! I do schedule time for writing posts all at once and I don't do it outside that time, so that's a step in that direction.

  4. This post is fabulous! I try to keep all my blog stuff on the computer, not my phone. Which is super useful since it requires more effort to check the computer than my phone! Everyday I come home and check on my blog. Unless I get a bunch of homework... which isn't pleasant... when I check my computer I like to do everything at once, read posts, comment, check emails, if I have time I even write posts! That way I get everything out of the way, and am not panicking that I still have to check my blog or email!

  5. I'm really bad at switching off :/ Normally all I do is put my computer away and put my phone screen down on my bedside table but still compulsively check it... I should probably buy an actual alarm clock so I can turn my phone off haha. Great post!

  6. Great post! This is my second time blogging (I just came back this month, after taking a year off), and this is one thing I'm doing differently this time. I don't do anything blog related after my kids and husband come home at night, and only do blogging stuff when I actually have free time (this is after laundry has been done, kids have been fed etc lol). I also only post a couple times a week now so that helps too, because my blog isn't nearly as busy my old one was. I have a much more relaxed attitude about blogging now, and it's going really well so far!

  7. I'm a liiiiitle bit guilty of this. Every time I wake up, I take my phone, check e-mails, do a small blog hop and reply to posts, eat breakfast, open my laptop, and never leave. (Unless I need to eat again or go to the bathroom of course.) This has become my daily routine during the weekends, and I'm pretty sure I'm harming my eyes because of it, but I JUST CAN'T HELP IT. >.< I'll try to mute my notifications sometime one day, though, and take a 24 hour break from the world wide web. I promise... hopefully.

  8. The moment I wake up, I jump out of bed and do all the things I need to do. I have half an hour on the bus that I use to check up on social media. I also like to keep pen and paper around, but when I'm on my way and I have to remember something I always use my Wunderlist app. After three weeks without internet, I've definitely learned that it is sometimes okay to take a big step back. I used to be busy with blogging all the time, but I feel way more laid back now :)

  9. This post is WONDERFUL. I need to find a way to blog and still sleep, but it's a struggle. I am actually decent about the social stuff- I can walk away from it (usually, not always) at night, but the actual blogging, I cannot. It's like "okay, I will comment on ONE more blog post that I want to read" (true story, that is what I said about yours- and Cait's before yours, and probably someone's after yours haha) and then I end up being up all night. I DO actually use the paper and pen thing- it's very helpful!

    I think my biggest problem is really just time. I want to do everything and there simply isn't the time for it. I don't want to not blog or not read or not be social so.. I end up not sleeping! But I feel like it would be worse if I stopped doing the things I enjoyed, so it's a hard call to make most days.

    Oh, and I totally check my phone first thing in the morning, but that's usually because I am willing whichever child woke up to go back to sleep. It does not work ;)