Time Off 2019: Part 1 of 4 of Social Media Sabbaticals Since I won't have my usual social channels to talk about what's up, I'm going to do so in this post.

It’s been a while since I’ve published anything on a Monday (I don’t know if that’s notable or not but, as I’m writing this, it came to mind 🙃).

But since today officially starts the second quarter of the year it’s that time in which I also opt-out of social media, for the most part, and recap some of the things I’ve done and plan to do over the next month.

For those who haven’t read about this stuff before, you can see what I did last year in the following posts:

  1. The First Social Media Sabbatical of 2018
  2. The Second Social Media Sabbatical of 2018
  3. The Third Social Media Sabbatical of 2018

Every time I end up taking time off of social media in general, I never regret it. At the same time, I also find new things I want to do during that time.

And, this time, one of the things (among others I’ll discuss in a moment) is I want to work on really slimming down on the number of applications I have installed on my mobile device.

I’m already pretty good with managing my time (thanks to Screen Time and turning off notifications), but I have a good friend who said it like this:

I’m trying to Marie Kondo the number of apps on my phone.

And I liked that. So that’s part of what I’m planning to do over the coming month.

But that’s not all.

Time Off in 2019: Part 1

Above all else, I find that for as much interest I have in keeping up with those I’ve met via social media, I’m also not certain it’s overall effect on our lives is positive.

This isn’t to say the people we meet don’t have a positive impact, but too much of the noise that’s on there can become too much to handle and really if anything, more of a distraction.

To that end, that’s why I try to keep it in check.

Anyway, as mentioned earlier in the post, there are always things I’m looking to do during the time that I’m reclusing a bit (or just retreating into my hobbit hole a bit).

Time Off in 2019, Part 1: The Shire
I really could live here, y’all.

And since I won’t have my usual social channels to talk about them, I’m going to do so in this post.

WebDevStudios

As of today, I’m starting as a senior backend engineer at WebDevStudios. There’s a really great, fun, and long story behind all of this, but I’m really looking forward to the team with which I’ll be working and on the projects which I’ll be working.

Time Off in 2019, Part 1: WDS

Generally speaking, I’m going to helping to build well-designed backend systems for larger sites and applications powered by WordPress. As my time continues here, I’m sure I’ll have more to say.

What About Pressware?

Pressware still exists and it’s not going anywhere. I’m still doing work on projects. I also have plans for things I’m going to be releasing hopefully later this year via the company.

Time Off in 2019, Part 1: Pressware

I also plan to continue consulting and building projects for small businesses and individuals as I’ve done.

But I’ve also recognized that I’m looking to work with a team on larger projects and that’s something that’s harder to do within the niché I work via my own business.

As far as I’m concerned, I get to experience the best of both worlds as it relates to WordPress.

I could write an entire post about this, but this one is already going to be somewhat long so I’ll table that for a future post.

And What About Blogging and the Podcast?

Nothing about this blog or the podcast is changing.

I’ve been blogging for a long time at this point – it’s part of my DNA and it’s something that I don’t think I can not do. So I’ll continue to be writing free content and membership-content, as well. I’m also aiming to improve the membership experience, too.

Time Off in 2019, Part 1: Practical WordPress Development Podcast

As far as the podcast is concerned, I’ve started outlining the next episode of the show and more questions are rolling in meaning people are listening to show, so I’m really excited about that.

App Reduction

I’m not someone who has a ton of apps on my phone nor am I the type of person who spends five hours a day on my phone (and I’m not making this metric up), but if there’s an opportunity to trim to proverbial fat then I am going to do it.

At the time I’m writing this post, I took an inventory of all of the apps on my phone and I’ve already deleted quite a few. I categorize everything so I’ve cut apps out of:

  • Audio & Video
  • Business,
  • Entertainment,
  • Health,
  • Productivity (ironically, even)
  • Reading
  • Social Media
  • and Utilities

I want to continue removing more so I’m planning, each day or so, to review the apps on my phone and be as ruthless as possible when it comes to reducing what I have installed.

I’m still trying to work out a question to ask to determine if I should delete it but, right now, it’s something like:

Does this application provide any utility for work, education, or occasional entertainment?

And if it doesn’t, then I’m removing it.

Fitness

I’ve written a number of posts about fitness as it relates to being a developer (that is, someone who is primarily sitting or standing at a desk for most of the day).

If you’ve not read any of them, here’s a quick reference to each of them:

Fitness has been and continues to be, part of my daily routine so I’m looking to continue that trend with yet-another-program starting this month.

When I last wrote about this, I was headed into LIIFT4 and I’ve completed that program three times. It’s been really, really good but part of working in those types of programs is an inevitable weight gain of muscle. And yeah, who doesn’t want that?

Time Off in 2019, Part 1: Fitness

But I do want to move into a lean phase that I aim to try to achieve each summer. I’m looking to do 60 days of HIIT along with bringing running back into the mix (since the weather is warming up here in Georgia).

A Substitute for Social Media

One of the things that I’ve been trying to get better at doing is rather than sharing things on social media is to journal various things in Day One.

Time Off in 2019, Part 1: Day One

I have a few IFTTT triggers set up to archive my tweets and my Instagram posts, and as much as I enjoy writing in the journal, I do find myself wondering why we don’t do this instead of sharing so much of things in the public arena.

On top of that, having an Apple Watch app that allows you to check-in to places lets you, at least, set up a quick map of various places you’ve been.

This app continues to get better and I want to continue making it a regular habit at using it rather than social media.

Reading and Listening

Finally, I’ve done a good job of sticking to my goal of reading that I set out earlier this year. As I write this post, I’m finishing up Pet Sematary which I’ve not read in about 22 years.

Time Off in 2019, Part 1: Reading and Listening

I’m doing so because part King is arguably one of my favorite authors and because I’m also looking forward to the upcoming movie. The original movie didn’t do much for me, but the upcoming movie scheduled to come out later this month seems like it’s going to be much more in the same vein as IT (however this looks like it may stray more from the original story).

Anyway, I’m finding myself continuing to read more and more and I want to allow for time for that and for listening to podcasts that I’ve discover and continually enjoy.

What’s the Ultimate Goal of All of This?

For as much as I have happening right now, the ultimate goal of taking some time off of certain things while focusing on other things is three-fold:

  1. improve my focus in areas that I think are more deserving,
  2. continue growing as a backend engineer specifically in the WordPress economy,
  3. simplify some of the complexities that I’ve let creep into my life.

This will allow me to focus on some of the things above as well as other things that I want to achieve this quarter (such as speaking at WordCamp Atlanta) as well as growing other outlets like the podcast and focusing on new work with WDS.

It’s going to be a fun quarter.

Don’t Expect a DM

As per usual, I’ll be sharing content via Twitter though I won’t likely be checking it often (and when I do, it’ll be sporadically and in very, very short periods of time).

So you can email me at any time. Also, remember that I publish a newsletter at the end of each month, and I’ll be blogging here regularly.

All of that to say, I haven’t been this excited about all of the things happening at the same time I’m taking time off as I am right now.

With that said, I’ll catch you in May. ✌🏻