January 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

The Sunday Experiment – Week Two

The Sunday Experiment – Week Two

This week’s Sunday Experiment was… interesting. I was expecting a day reveling in my free time, enjoying every last second cut off from email, social networking and writing.

And I DID have a lovely day. I even took pictures to prove it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But there was a side effect. I sometimes felt edgy, nervous and distracted by my inability to check email. I don’t think I noticed it as much last week, because I was busy a good part of the day helping Rebekah move back into her dorm (and I hadn’t initiated the email embargo). This week, I’d arranged to be home, and there were definitely times when I was jonesing to check email, Facebook, or to write.

A hazard of loving what you do!

Still, I forced myself to stay off my computer (didn’t open it once!), taking the fact that it was difficult for me to do so as proof that I really NEED to learn to do it.

I feel that way in meditation a lot, too, especially when I go to meditation practice and we have longer, 20-30 minute sits. It’s like I’m trying to claw my way out of my own mind. At times like that, I tell myself, “You can’t run from yourself,” and force myself to be still. It’s not always easy – or to be honest, even pleasant – but I think we SHOULD be able to be still in our own minds. The fact that it is difficult makes me realize how desperately I need to cultivate that ability, because if we can’t retreat into our own minds now and then, how screwed are we?

And just taking this one day a week has made me realize how terribly out of balance I’ve been. That has to change if I want to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit – and I DO.

This week’s lessons learned;

1) Not logging into email helped a lot, even though there were times I was dying to check it. I set an away message late Sunday night letting people know I’d get back to them Monday, and that prevented me from worrying that everyone would think I was a flake for not replying right away. Also, because a lot of people knew I was doing the Sunday Experiment, I was pleasantly surprised by how many people went out of their way to honor it, telling me in advance that they would send me interview questions on Monday (thank you, Nazarea!) and that they would talk to me about specific things then. So I think telling people Sunday is your “day off” helps them recognize the boundary, too.

2) I’ve been working a lot – but not working smart because I’ve been more burned out than I realized. After last week’s Sunday off, I felt really ready to tackle that week’s tasks, and I hit the ground running on Monday. Knowing I had a day off coming, I planned to tackle certain things during the week so I’d be somewhat clear on Sunday (because let’s face it, we’re never *really* in the clear). One of the things I did to work smarter was to start using Freedom again when I wrote during the week. And let me tell you, I am always SHOCKED by what a difference it makes. My head just feels clearer, my mind more focused knowing I can’t log into the internet. I ended up getting way more done last week than usual. That made me feel proud and relieved and more like I DESERVED a day off.

3) Even fun things can be not fun when you have too much on your plate. If you remember, last week, I vowed to plan a couple of nice things for myself to do on Sunday. I ended up with the following list; have a leisurely morning, watch The New World with the kids while we ate lunch, make homemade pizza, take a couch nap, and play Scrabble with Caroline. I managed to do it all — and I enjoyed it! — but there were times when I felt rushed to cram it all in. When Caroline asked if we could make Scrabble a Sunday tradition, I forced myself to tell her we would have to see. Scary how easy it is to slip into overscheduling even a day off! Next week, I’ll think of one or two things I want to do and play the rest by ear.

But it was SO NICE to have all that time away from writing and from the computer, even if I sometimes did feel like an addict looking for a fix. I spent the morning drinking coffee and reading magazines, made homemade apple pancakes with Greek yogurt (will post the recipe for you guys this week), did yoga, watched The New World in the middle of the afternoon (an afternoon movie felt like the epitome of luxury), took a nap, made pizza, watched a documentary with the kids, and played Scrabble with Caroline. Then I meditated and read before bed.

One upside to jonesing for work is that I woke up today READY to get shit done. I’ve already knocked a bunch of stuff off my to-do list. That forced down time made me appreciate the time I have to work.

Plus, I want to get as much done as possible before next week’s Sunday Experiment.

What about you? Did you take the day off? If so, what how did you spend your day? if not, what are the challenges facing you in finding downtime?

<3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Sunday Experiment – Week Two

  1. Shelley Koon says:

    OK – Now I want pancakes… 😛

    I just d/l Freedom last week and was amazed at how much more focused I was while writing.

    My biggest challenge is guilt. Guilt that I should be contributing more to the household financially and because I’m not then I feel I need to make sure the laundry, dishes or general cleaning gets done. Then there’s guilt of not getting my big butt out of my seat and making sure I get some exercise in. Added all together it overwhelms me and then nothing gets done. Viscous cycle that is!

    To try and overcome that I made a schedule last week and am really focusing on sticking to it. You’re dedication and honesty about your journey as a writer inspires me everyday – thank you for that.

    1. MichelleZink says:

      Not gonna lie; they were AH-mazing!

      Guilt is ever-present, I think, especially for women. Good luck with your schedule. Let us know how it’s working for you!
      <3

  2. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you needed a fix. I wanted so badly to sign in to my e-mail or just “stop by” twitter or my blog for a minute. I was so hard not to! Especially since I was pretty much stuck in bed. I tried to not even read since the book I started picking up was for my blog & that just felt like cheating. I think next week I’m going to let my computer die on Saturday so I’ll be less tempted on Sunday & dig out a fun reread book or maybe just flip through a magazine instead.

    1. MichelleZink says:

      So proud of you! I forgot how much I like flipping through magazines. I subscribe to a couple and they usually just sit there, unread. It was nice to look through them again.
      <3

      1. Exactly. I have 1 that I subscribe to & I have at least 3 months worth that I haven’t really looked at. They are definitely going to be my reading material for next week.

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