Stop Pressing ‘Refresh’
Recently I’ve noticed I’ve picked up a really bad working habit; I’m obsessed with the ‘refresh’ button. I can spend hours every day refreshing my email inbox, Instagram feed, Instagram notifications, Twitter feed, Twitter notifications, Pinterest notifications, you name it. Refresh. Refresh, Refresh! I do it in the morning, I do it in the evening and endlessly throughout the day. I go around the internet scrolling and refreshing things until I start the loop again. Sometimes I even pick up my phone and absentmindedly refresh the same emails that I only just refreshed on my desktop. It’s absolutely ridiculous and it’s quite frankly, I’m a little embarrassed admitting to it. But here’s the thing, I have a feeling that I’m not the only one, I mean, what are we all doing on our phones ALL the time, lemme guess, scrolling, refreshing, scrolling, refreshing? Me too. Let’s talk it out!
Whatcha Waiting For?
In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m waiting for, in fact, what any of us are waiting for? Maybe it’s for my dream campaign to drop into my inbox, maybe I’m hoping my tweet about avocado-on-toast will go viral or maybe I’m just bored/too lazy to do real work. But whatever it is, it’s doing none of us any good! People say we should keep our phones in our bags when we are working, or leave them in another room, but quite frankly, I disagree, I think it’s nice to get calls / texts from my parents, siblings, boyfriend or friends throughout the day, why should we avoid that?! If you are unreachable for hours on end sometimes people worry and that’s not fair on your family and friends. Personally, I love being able to text people, listen to music and podcasts and take photos whenever I fancy. The iPhone is one of the greatest inventions EVER, it’s that pesky refresh function (and the insatiable urge to use it) which is troublesome!
That Guilty Feeling
Before I started blogging, I had a pretty intense job. It included long hours, oodles of stress and a boss who wouldn’t take no for an answer. It wasn’t unusual for me to be putting on my pyjamas and getting ready for bed at 10pm when an email would pop up on my personal phone (they wouldn’t pay for a work phone, but still insisted we used our personal phones for work) when I would groan and say to my boyfriend, ‘Sorry, I’m not coming to bed. I’ve got another couple of hours of work to do before the morning’. When I started working for myself, I wanted to take that same work ethic into self-employment as at least now I was in control of my future and my earnings. However, I do tend to feel guilty when I’m not chained to my desk and working past 6pm (FYI, it’s 23:57pm right now). The long hours can take their toll and when I’m tired, overworked and feeling creatively stumped, thats when the urge to endlessly scroll and refresh is at it’s worst. There’s something about hitting ‘refresh’ which makes me feel productive and in control… Please tell me you understand, I’m worried it sounds like I need some professional help here!
Break The Habit
Want to break the habit? Me too! First of all, let’s acknowledge what we are doing. Are you refreshing your inbox rather than sending mails? Are you updating your Instagram feed and scrolling rather than posting your own content? Stop! Write the to-do-list and work your way through it. Try and clear your inbox even if it means telling people you don’t want to work with them because it’s not the right project for you right now. Then move onto the next unread email without checking to see if any new emails have come in. Similarly, when you open Twitter / Instagram / Facebook, post your content BEFORE you check your notifications and THEN reply to any messages / comments before you start scrolling. As for that feeling of guilt, you have to GET OVER IT! Chaining yourself to your desk for 10 hours a day isn’t going to make yourself uber productive, instead, mix up your day, switch between tasks to keep things feeling fresh and exciting! Refer to your t0-do list constantly and when you have completed tasks or you feel an energy slump, take those tea breaks without feeling any guilt. Seriously, no guilt! Drink the tea, eat the croissant and breathe. When you drag yo’ ass back to your desk you’ll feel 10 times more productive than you did before and when you feel productive, you’re wayyyy less likely to do the refresh loop. There’s nothing wrong with checking in on your favourite apps, Whatsapp’s or emails, but just be aware of how frequently you are doing it and how much of your time it’s taking up. If you are anything like me, you will be hitting the refresh button more when you are tired or lacking in motivation, so instead of wasting your day sitting at your desk doing nothing, take that break and refresh your mind, not your inbox, and remember the sooner you get your work done, the sooner you can stop for the day and have some non-work related fun!