Recently I realized that Facebook had been taking up way more of my time than I was comfortable with. There were other things in life that I wanted to apply myself to, but wasn't making the commitment because of time wasted on Facebook.
Click here to read why I decided to take a week-long break from Facebook, and why you should consider doing the same.
So after my break from Facebook, I wanted to share with you some of the things I did instead. Of course, I could have accomplished many of these things while still using Facebook, but the amazing thing to me is that I accomplished them all in one week.
As you are reading this, ask yourself what you could accomplish in a week if you didn't get on Facebook at all? Let me know in the comments below this post!
14 Things I Did Without Facebook
1. Cleaned and Organized My Bookshelves – I walk by my messy bookshelves every day, but somehow I always seem to have more “important” things to do on Facebook than straighten up the forgotten places of my house. This week, I got it done with ease.
2. Wrote Love Notes to My Husband – Without the distraction of Facebook, I wrote more love notes to my husband so that he could read them at work. He said they made his day!
3. Read to My Kids – I had gotten in a really bad habit of sitting on Facebook in the evenings when I should have been spending time with my kids. Without it I as able to take the time to read chapter books with my oldest 2 boys and read our favorite kid classics with my younger 2 before bed.
4. Caught Up On Laundry – Most of my good friends know that I hate folding laundry. Too often my family is required to dig through a basket of clean clothes to find their clothes for the day. It's something I want to get better at, so this week I was able to focus on catching up and actually folding the laundry (and even putting some of it away!)
5. Colored a Picture – Every evening, after tucking my littlest guy (almost 2 years old) into his new big boy bed, I sit at the dining room table where he can see me until he falls asleep. Instead of getting on Facebook on my phone, this past week I have been coloring in my children's coloring books, and was inspired to bring the colors downstairs that evening and have a fun coloring session with the older 2 boys. They very much appreciated the gesture.
6. Read Magazines – Every month I get a few carefully selected magazines in the mail (namely O Magazine and Psychology Today). I always promise myself I am going to read the interesting articles, but never quite get around to doing it. Without facebook, I was able to read the articles right away, from start to finish.
7. Played the Sims 3 – Yes, even without Facebook I found ways to goof off and waste some time with my favorite computer game. My next plan is to start setting a time limit for myself.
8. Got My Ebook Ready – During my break from Facebook, I found out that my ebook Kids Eat Real Food has been accepted and will be included in this year's Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle sale. I spent time getting it ready so that it can be converted to a Kindle version. Stay tuned for the bundle sale this fall!
9. Baked Cookies – Me and cookies have a strange relationship. I love baking, but with little kids I have always complained that cookies take too much “babysitting”, especially since I always make a double batch which means some extra time in the kitchen trying to take the cookies out of the oven at the perfect time. This week it was no problem, and I have vowed to bake cookies more often. Plus, I bake some mean cookies (if I do say so myself).
10. Made a Menu Plan – Menu plans are the first line of defense in my house from the temptation of eating unhealthy junk foods, but I'm not always that great at implementing it lately. This week I created a simple and frugal meal plan for the upcoming week.
11. Re-evaluated our Budget – This year has been incredibly busy so far with household projects and family fun, hardly the time to be lax on the budget, but we have been letting things slide a bit more than we should and spending more money than we should. A week off of Facebook gave me the time to look at our budget and see where we need to cut back.
12. Cooked More Real Food – Along with making a meal plan, I had more time to cook real, healthy foods this week. I even did some extra real food prep, including washing and chopping fresh seasonal fruit to store in the freezer.
13. Read My Bible and Prayed – With a clear mind and less distraction, I was able to devote more time to reading my bible and praying for friends, family members, and people around the world. I also felt more compelled to pray with my children and discuss our faith.
14. Finished a Book Review – I was able to finish reading We the Eaters and post my review a bit quicker than I had originally planned.
Things I Missed About Facebook and What I Learned
Of course, there were some things I missed about Facebook. I missed the connection that Facebook provides me with other bloggers. It's not that I can't make that connection in other places, but I am part of a large blogger's group on Facebook that makes it super easy to make those valuable connections.
I also missed my online friends. As someone who lives a very alternative lifestyle compared to many of those in my local community, I find it extremely helpful to connect and find support from like-minded individuals online. For instance, I belong to (and help admin) a large Christian Unschooling group where I can ask questions and discuss topics pertaining to our unconventional educational choices. I also belong to a small group of Christians from all over the country that is amazingly supportive, and greatly devoted to praying for any need a member might have, as well as supporting each other financially in times of need.
Outside of my Facebook groups, I missed being able to catch up on the lives of my friends via their Facebook walls, and also to update my friends on the happenings in my life. I intentionally keep my friends list to a minimum, and have an even smaller subsection of “close friends” in which I share more personal things with. I am very candid with those I trust, and have been blessed to share some of our personal life struggles with others.
What did I learn? I learned that I don't want to give up Facebook completely. I don't want to let go of all of the people in my life, even the ones that I do not get to see in person that often (if ever). Those people that I have connected with online are a part of my life, some in small ways, some in bigger ways.
But I also learned that Facebook can become a time suck. It has the potential to occupy my mind for hours without letting me accomplish anything worthwhile. It can become a habit that is hard to break. It can become something I rely on in place of my creator, and something I spend time on in place of my family. The most important thing I learned from all of this is to make my time on Facebook a conscious act, and turn it off when I have completed what I have set out to do; to not let the Facebook “newsfeed” become a drip feed for my entertainment and the occupying of my mind and past times.