The big one for me this month is the email one.
No email checking after 6pm. It's a hard and fast rule I am committing to in June. Hopefully for the rest of time, forever and ever, Amen.
It's interesting, this job of mine. My work and my life are so connected. I blog about my life. I blog about my food. My travels. My family. My business. My photos. My thoughts. My loves. My struggles. Even my craft projects get hung in my house or document our life. I can never shut off the blog. It's there, humming always, in the back of my mind.
And that's the gig. Exactly what I signed up for and totally what I would shout at the Sorting Hat should he decide to take my opinion into account. Writing this blog, it seems, is my passion. (Also towards the top of the list is goal setting and making grid photo collages.)
So I can't turn off that part of my mind. I can't shut it down and go home for the day.
But I can turn off the email.
I will turn off the email.
If you've emailed me in the past, it's quite likely you got a pretty quick response. Usually within the day. Sometimes within the hour. Sometimes, within five minutes. (No joke, I've been known to hold an email response so I don't look like a crazy-inbox watcher.) My secret for email is that I practice the "one-touch rule." I read it, I respond to it, I archive it. The end. (Unless I'm checking on my phone, then sometimes it waits until I have a full keyboard at my fingertips. Or unless I am totally baffled and can't think of a response until I chat with someone, usually Paul. This happens - I get some crazy emails.)
If you've emailed me in the past, you've also probably noticed I am not at all flowery with my responses. (Though this blog post about email is pushing 625 words.) Your time is precious. My time is precious. Therefore my emails back are usually straight and to the point (but at least they are returned quickly).
Don't get me wrong. I love email. I love the connections. A positive comment or a sweet note in my inbox can make my day. I am so grateful for this job I have and these relationships I have formed online. Choosing (and remember, setting goals is about making choices) to turn off email at 6pm is not about disconnecting from the Internet, it's about connecting to real life. Connecting to Paul. Connecting to making dinner. Connecting to staring at my tomato plants & willing them to produce. Connecting to the book I am reading. Connecting to that glass of red wine.
Starting today, I am going to shoot for normal business hours. (At least in my inbox, we'll see if this spreads to other parts of my worklife.*) All of those emails that come after 6pm will still be read and responded to in a timely fashion (and my FAQ page is pretty legit for those that can't wait), but the pressure to keep up will hopefully be eliminated. The days of "I'll just take a quick peek at my email while Paul looks up how we know that one actor on IMDB" are over.
I see this as a legit challenge as I have a serious email addiction, but hopefully, it's the start of something awesome.
*Ironically, I wrote this post at 11:30pm a week before I set the rest of these goals. The first rule of blogging is don't talk about your blog in real life when inspiration strikes you get out of bed and you write.