I am back, successfully ditched the phone, and here is what I have to report….

Hello StartupNation! I am back from vacation – I actually got back on Sunday, but I needed to re-acquaint myself with my smart phone before I reported back to you how the separation went.  Well, the good news is I survived the week-long break from constant contact with the outer world, and I am here to share my experience and leave you with a few essential tips.

I am sure that most people would benefit from a short break-up with their smart phone, laptop, or Ipad, but I want to clarify one very important reason behind my taking space from my phone.  I am a mompreneur, and what does mompreneur mean?  Mom + Entrepreneur = Mompreneur  To me, being a mompreneur means that I hold two really important positions.  Not only am I in control of my entrepreneurial mission, but I am responsible for setting an example for my kids and teaching them valuable life-lessons.

In our current world, pick up any magazine, newspaper, or log onto any news site, and you will very likely come across some news piece regarding teenagers and misuse of technology.  Teenagers all over are violating school rules and logging onto social media while in class, hiding phones under the dinner table, and engaging in risque’ behaviors with their phones and on the internet.  Our children are growing up with an attitude of constant availability.  I am not one to say whether this is the right or wrong path, I simply feel that as Moms & Entrepreneurs, we can set an example on boundaries with technology and availability.  That was a crucial piece of my unplugging efforts.  I was going to be in the moment and model that for my boys.

Another big part of the trial separation was the hours that I keep as a mompreneur.  I put in LONG days, as most of you do.  Often, I am up early and late at night working in order to fit in all the mom stuff in between.  I was in need of a mental break, and believe me – it was a HUGE challenge to take it!  Email and technology are awesome in respect to the fact that they allow us to communicate and do business at off hours, but they also creep into all parts of our day.  Take it from me, it is very difficult to let go of constant “in-the-know” cold turkey.

As I stated in my video challenge, I LOVE my phone and typically answer emails throughout the day.  I made a promise to my boys that I would check once daily, but the deal went both ways.  My boys were also responsible for staying off their itouches, etc, and live the moment with me.  They were very excited about this idea, and out of the mouthes of babes, stated “moms should unplug when away, we would be mad if you did not.”

Moving on to the actual separation……Here are the details and my tips to you:

  • I actually powered the phone OFF (gasp) and put it away.
  • For the first 24 hours, I felt as though I was constantly missing something.
  • I finished a fiction book for pleasure in 24 hours (unheard of), played Rory’s Story Cubes (an imagination based game, nothing electronic) with the boys, and enjoyed an interruption-free family dinner BEFORE I believed that I made the right choice!
  • Checking email once daily was overwhelming because of the sheer amount of emails – I found it helpful to create a folder for all the important emails that I needed to respond to when vacation was over.  I deleted all junk mail so it did not clog my email feed.
  • By midweek, I almost forgot about my phone! However, by the end of the week, I was anxious to get back to my projects.
  • When I finally turned my phone back on, I was in a bit of a frenzy!  Actually, when I created my list for Monday, I was overly ambitious and ended up being disappointed because I did not finish everything.
  • I am happy to report that by Tuesday, I was totally back on track and setting manageable to-do lists and had returned every email that I needed to! Stay tuned to my blog here on StartupNation, I plan on sharing some to-do list tips with you.

I highly recommend this little vacation from your smart phone.  I am extremely motivated after vacation and feel as though we escaped as a family for a week.  We enjoyed a lot of laughs and fun times – One of the cutest was when I was ziplining, and my boys yelled from below “GO Backngroovemom!”

Check out http://backngroovemom.com for the full report on the vacation and stay posted for some important biz updates!  AND, feel free to email me – I will probably answer you quickly from my phone (we are so happy to be back together). Rachel

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