6:00 Shut Down

30×30, Week Six
photo source: Real Simple

It’s hard to get away from the demands of an inbox. From Twitter or Facebook. And now more than ever, it’s hard to stop uploading photos to Instagram. 
We’re all connected. And it’s good. It’s great actually. What a fantastic world that we live in where we can share moments of our lives with friends, or just other people!
We are inspired. Motivated. Moved. Changed. All from the things that happen around us. 

Pinterest changed weddings forever. 
And baby showers.

Instagram made every meal an opportunity for us to become photographers. 

Twitter has become my first resource for breaking news. 

It’s enjoyable to be in community online. 
But we can’t miss out on real life. 
Because you can’t scroll down far enough to see what happened. It happens, then it’s over.

So I started enforcing a “6:00 Shut Down” for myself. I’m not strict or rigid, but I’m determined to shut down some of the online activity at 6:00 in the evening. 
I’m ending my work day. Intentionally. 

But even if you don’t “work” online, the 6:00 Shut Down can be a way to just take a breather from social media. 

I’ve been operating in a busy lifestyle for months, and while I really, really enjoy doing everything that I’m doing, I’m not doing any of those things really well. I’m giving each thing about 70%, because that’s all I have available. 

So instead of qualifying my day a success or not based on getting through my entire list of to-do’s, I’m going to do as much as I can until 6:00, and then shut it down.

Or, I’m going to try.

So join me, if you need to, and we can let our thumbs rest a little bit. 

*there is nothing else going on, on a deeper level, I just wanted to share with you this challenge I’ve given myself. Also, I hope this doesn’t read as a complaint, but simple a glimpse into the fact that I don’t do it all–which it may look like on the blog sometimes. Someone recently told me , “It’s hard to fit a 3 dimensional person into a 1 dimensional place.” Truth. Don’t value your 1-d over your 3-d. 

Is this my philosophy degree talking? 🙂 


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MICHELLE CURRY says · 07.26.12

This is great advice Kate.

Ashley B. says · 07.26.12

Kate, this is wonderful. I feel like we lose precious time with our friends and family when we are all sitting on the couch scrolling through some social network instead of interacting with one another. I have wondered what to do about it and this seems like a perfect option. Not that I am going to enforce it on my whole family, but at least challenge myself and see if my husband is willing, too! Thank you for sharing.

kristinwithani says · 07.26.12

I think this is a great idea.

BUT… 🙂 I’m not sure I can pick that time. Maybe 8? I don’t want to be all over social media during my work day (integrity issue) so when I get home I do unwind with stuff online – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc…

You have no way of knowing this, but I do get inspired by your pics with Lauren. It is a gift that you and your sister live close to each other and also fun that you actually DO spend time together. It is a good reminder for me to get over myself and my decompression time at home and go spend time with friends.

Ang says · 07.26.12

It drives me crazy when my husband and I are sitting in the same room…both on an iPhone! We are going to do a shut down…maybe even play a card game ( with actual cards not an app!). Thanks for the thoughts!

Casie says · 07.26.12

Haha I know how you feel! My husband and I have sat next to each other playing words with friends! And texting each other that we are total dorks. It’s nuts!!

Vanessa Tachenko says · 07.26.12

I completely understand! I’ve decided to take 24 hours each week to completely unplug, I even turn my phone off. A daily cut off time is a good idea too. Another blogger wrote this week that she has scheduled her online time, so from 5 to 8 (or whatever her exact times were) she is online but the rest of the time she is 3D, no matter how much she is accomplishing online, when it’s time to stop she stops. It’s a commitment she made to her family. Perhaps I’ll do a combo of all three ideas! Good for you for being transparent! Blessings!!! <3

Bonbonroz says · 07.26.12

Good luck with that challenge! Not sure I could make it myself ^^

Laura says · 07.26.12

Hey Kate, last week at our church our speaker spoke on the Proverbs 31 woman with such a different angle…using the Hebrew meanings, he showed us how this woman did what she did, throughout her life, instead of what most women think…that she “did it all”…all at once 🙂 Here’s the link, hope you can listen and be encouraged:http://www.sermonconnect.com/mediapreview.php?id=2012072206073505CBE4

Atta Girl Amy says · 07.26.12

This is so hard to do. I’m not at a point where I can shut down at 6, unfortunately, because my workday/availability to work on my online business is not 9-6. But I can do a better job of shutting down when I’m in mommy mode and then spend a set amount of time, not all night, working online in the evenings once my son is asleep.

Ashley Auld says · 07.26.12

I love this idea. I am going to start this. Thanks!

Jill says · 07.26.12

I totally understand your feelings! The biggest problem I have is checking my work email once I’m home for the day. A few weeks ago, I received an email that made me so upset and angry, I was crying. At 11 pm. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because it helped me realize, I’ve got to get away and separate myself. I have not been checking email nearly as much once I leave the office, and in some cases I see it’s there but don’t read it. All the online “connections” really have created that “fear of missing out” syndrome we hear about so often….but at the same time, it’s what is causing us to miss out. I commend you for your choice! 🙂

Melissa Duckett says · 07.26.12

Totally love this. My husband and I have started watching a movie or playing board games in the evening. No computers, just us. Amazing how much we ignore each other to tool around online “communicating”. And per the comment about the closeness of you and your sister, I try very hard not to overly envy that relationship. My sister died when I was 18. I see you two and I often wonder if we’d have been so close and good of friends. We were back then. Cherish the role of older sister and never take little sis for granted. It’s a wonderful testament of family to me to see you both.

Jackie says · 07.26.12

I know how you feel. My younger brother died when I was 19, and we were very close. It’s very hard sometimes to think about what could have been.

Sarah Jolley says · 07.26.12

I hate to admit it but I’m always on twitter and instagram and this is a great idea! I’m also going to start doing something like this for date night. No phones, just talking and real conversation, I’ll be joining you with this Kate!

Sarah @ bluebellroad.blogspot.com


Holly says · 07.26.12

Kate, that is such a good idea. I was laying with my three year old last night and I kept going from one email to the next. My husband gave me that look and I knew I needed to put it away for the night.

I’m going to try 6pm tonight… This is what we all need to do, more ways than one.

I hope you have a great Thursday!

Melissa {www.grinandbarrettblog.com} says · 07.26.12

This is amazing! Good for you!

Amy says · 07.26.12

I think this is a wonderful idea, Kate. I recently slowed down on the whole blog/social media thing for about 2 weeks just to tune out for a while… It was so refreshing and I definitely gained some extra focus and energy I felt like I so desperately needed. Enjoy your evenings!

pretty little things says · 07.26.12

I love this idea – I think its always a good idea to disconnect form social media once and a while. I have a rule no using cell phones at the table….and I think its catching on!


elise leighann says · 07.26.12

awesome kate. wise woman!

Erica says · 07.26.12

I just made the same resolution–for 10 pm. My second job happens at home at night on the computer, after the regular work day, but puttering around the interwebs for hours without thinking about it keeps me up later at night than is really good for me. I set a “regular scheduled task” on my computer for 10pm that says, “Get off the computer.” Hopefully, I’ll obey it. 🙂

HLane says · 07.26.12

I think that this is a great idea. I constantly feel like I am on my phone way too much – and so does my husband. 🙂
I always find myself reading the news or checking facebook. I am going to start a shutdown, too… but I am not necessarily sure what time that will be.
Thanks for your inspiration!

Amy says · 07.26.12

I think its a great idea Kate. Its important to be able t connect in person, even more so now than ever. Thanks for posting this!


Kathleen @ theModernMrsSmith.com says · 07.26.12

Kate, love this advice. As someone who works full time & commutes in city traffic, I wondered how you manage to have a career, a husband AND be so successful with online media. Any tips for someone trying to juggle those things, too? I’m finding it really hard to come home from work, make a healthy dinner/find time to work out, and then have the energy/brain power left to devote to working on my blog (which I really want to do!).

Brittany Walsh says · 07.26.12

I love this idea! We get too caught up sometimes, agreed. Can’t wait to share this blog post with my readers.


Jessica says · 07.26.12

This is a great thing to challenge yourself with Kate! I do this for my family. It’s so easy to get stuck on the computer or iPhone and lose complete track of time. It’s pretty painful to hear your children complain, “Daddy/Mommy, put down your phone and play with me!”

My shutdown starts when I get home and goes through the bath and bedtime routine. It makes for a happier family and gives my brain a chance to rest.


Rebecca says · 07.27.12

Those words from my kids haunt me. I am doing better. Need to check out your blog. 🙂

joanna.ruth. says · 07.26.12

I love this. I was just thinking this morning that I need to step back from social but not cut it out of my life completely, this is a fantastic idea. 6:00 shut down—I’m in!
Thanks for the great post Kate!


Kilee Nickels says · 07.26.12

I love this idea! As a mom, blogger, and business owner its hard to shut down at 6 because most of ‘my time’ to work is after bedtime. But I do feel like I need to set myself some limits. Its really draining to be sucked into that 1-d all the time. Thanks for the reminder!


Lara Jean says · 07.26.12

Love it!! I completely agree! You’re great Kate! My husband will love the 6:00 shut down! 😀

Rebecca says · 07.26.12

Wow!!! How did you know I’ve been struggling with this!?!? I have two awesome boys…they’ll be off to college in no time…my time with them is a gift and I don’t want to spend it all on my phone or computer. Also, my husband is a pastor. We go to bed at night with everyone else’s problems. THANK YOU for the challenge…I will take you up on it. I’m going for a 7:00 shutdown and am excited because I just know I’ll sleep better. Your post was so well written…AMEN to all!
I’m attaching a link here to a news report I heard recently. Another reason to shut down early. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/07/24/late-night-tvcomputer-sessions-linked-to-depression/

Mallory says · 07.26.12

I love this idea! It’s so easy to just keep scrolling and scrolling until you feel like you’ve caught up on everyone else’s lives. It’s crazy! And it always makes me feel better to just step away from it all. Going to try this one. Thanks Kate!

xoxo, Mallory

Kate Harvey says · 07.26.12

A wonderful thing that I do almost every evening instead of computer/iphone is read a book! I find that after a day of reading my computer screen there’s nothing better than sitting down to words on a page. A thought for after 6pm 🙂


Kristen says · 07.26.12

This sounds like a wonderful idea! I was just having a conversation about this last night with my husband. It’s sad but I feel that the media is really taking away face to face conversation, making us rely on texting and facebook which is really affecting relationships. Thank you for sharing and I believe I’m going to watch my usage and participate in the shut down! Have a good day!


Patrice says · 07.26.12

Wonderful idea.

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire says · 07.26.12

I’ve already started doing this, and I got comments like “Where have you been?” and “I was wondering where you were.” All I can think is, “I was enjoying my time at home with my husband and cats. Without my laptop.” 🙂

Stephie @ Our Marriage Adventure says · 07.26.12

This is something I would love to do but the reality is I wouldnt be able to blog if I did this. So for now, I’ll be keeping up with the open until 9 p.m. situation.

Mackenzie Tetmeyer says · 07.26.12

I think I just might adopt this philosophy! I have recently started trying to read every night plus blog plus eat dinner and exercise! All of this is a lot on a normal week night.

Great thoughts!!!

Sarah says · 07.26.12

Sounds like a plan! I’m going to set a reminder on my phone for 6:00 every week night to spend 30 minutes without technology!

Kristen says · 07.26.12

amen! i’m going to do the same thing! thanks for the idea 🙂

Shannon says · 07.26.12

I discuss this topic with my husband almost every other day, maybe we should actually do it instead of just talking about it. I sit at a computer all day at work and when I go home I’m on my phone all night. I think it’s time for a break from technology…for the both of us!

Caroline says · 07.26.12

Great idea! I’ve been struggling to balance online and offline time lately and I think this is a great method!

Kristen+Salomon says · 07.26.12

Thank you so much for this post! I was having similar thoughts just the other night. I thought, “what if I replaced my time on the computer/i-phone with journal writing, bible reading, letter writing, praying, having a good time with my husband & family…for just one day a week?” To hear your 6:00 PM shutdown is great! I live in the desert in CA, and the average temp every day is around 110-115 during the day and 90-95 degrees in the middle of the night, so it’s not too healthy to step outdoors, leaving much time to sit on the computer/phone for some time indoors when you have free time away from work. Thank you for this idea and inspiration.

Christina MC says · 07.26.12

Great Idea. Women do too much as it is. We need time to recharge.

Hi, I'm Jayda! says · 07.26.12

I just love this idea. I’ve been feeling completely busy and overwhelmed lately (actually, it’s what I blogged about today!), and I totally agree that technology is a huge part of that. It’s hard to prioritize and put the important things first in this super-connected world. I spend a lot of time sharing my life, but not as much time just living it as I would like. I’m going to try something like this…thanks for the inspiration!

Rachel Olivia says · 07.26.12

This concept of setting limits is a necessary one, and everyone has there limits. I think my brain starts thinking free time in the evening, so I have to do everything in the morning. I liked the most, but the little “disclaimer” at the end was the best. “Don’t value your 1-d over your 3-d.” That was great.

Tiffany says · 07.26.12

This comment has been removed by the author.

Carla says · 07.26.12

Great post! I am praying for this to work! I was so hurt the last time I was trying to “talk” to my friend. She continued to swipe the iphone…I gave up trying to compete for her attention. She did not notice. 🙁

Erika says · 07.26.12

I’m on board! Great idea….great plan! Thanks for the advice 🙂

kristennw712 says · 07.26.12

i love this post!!! i am just getting into the blogging world, but can feel that once i’m back teaching i could get overwhelmed and not leave real me time. or hubby and me time. thanks for the tip. i’m gonna start that and maybe one weekend day no media….try to get us outside doing something!

Amanda fithian says · 07.26.12

What a great idea! It’s not an easy thing to do but perhaps that’s why it’s such a good one. Because it shouldn’t be hard! I think maybe I’ll swap mine and not get on until 6. Challenge excepted!

Christen says · 07.26.12

I kinda-sorta do this (maybe not at 6pm, but there is a “lights out” each eveing) and find that it helps me quiet down and calm myself from the noise of the day. My job has me interacting with people all day long, which is great, but I need time to re-charge. And on weekends I tend not to really engage in social media. I’m amazed by the people who document each move, each errand, and every aspect of a vacation or dinner out. How are you slowing down and truly being in the moment if you’re on FB the whole time?

Rachel says · 07.26.12

True, Christen! I had a friend recently comment to me at how surprising it was that in my local grocery store (as opposed to her big city one), she was the only person on her smart phone, (allegedly) multitasking. I held my tongue because I really thought “no, everyone just wants to get in & get HOME faster, because that ‘multitasking’ makes the grocery takes 2x as long!” Oh well. You’re right, put the glowing screen down and enjoy the moment!

Rachel says · 07.26.12

Great idea… I have been fiddling around with this, trying to figure out how to make it work for me, partially because one of my hobbies has become digital scrapbooking, which requires my computer! It doesn’t necessarily require the internet, though, so maybe I should just turn off my wireless card then. My other issue is in the mornings — I go straight for my computer when I should go straight out the door for a walk, followed by a few short morning chores. And then the next thing I know, I am in a rush to get ready for work! Bah. I should probably institute a “no computer before I’m ready for work” policy.

....... says · 07.26.12

wow your good hun! there is no way I could do this…the blogging I actually get done sometimes only happens after 6 when am done with everything else. 🙂 good for you! xo. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ http://www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

Anonymous says · 07.26.12

Great thought! You are so talented and wise, indeed! I’m going to implement this rule for myself. Such a simple idea, yet DUH! That’s how far we are all caught up with all the social media stuff. It has it’s place, but it should NOT be our lives. Thanks for the reminder Kate!

Emily says · 07.26.12

I love this. I’ve been thinking about how much time I spend on the internet everyday. I’m going to join you in your 6 pm shut down.

Sharon @ mrshinesclass says · 07.27.12

excellent example and great advice.

Sharon @ mrs. hines class

Heather says · 07.27.12

I love this! I recently deactivated Facebook for a season to reclaims some balance. It feels good to know others feel the same way.

Dawn Sunderman says · 07.27.12

I agree with you. If I don’t shut down at least an hour before bedtime, my mind won’t let it go and I sleep horribly.

Kelli says · 07.27.12

You go girl. We can all benefit from this if we give it a shot. Unfortunately I don’t log on until after the kids are in bed, so quitting at 6 would be hard for me. You certainly have my wheels spinning and are inspiring me to take a break. Thanks Kate

Zazzy Episodes says · 07.27.12

I’m with you Kate! I’m a nursing student and during the school semester I deactivate my fb account, otherwise I wouldn’t get any studying done for sure. I love the 6 o’ clock rule, and will try to incorporate it into my daily activities.

Rachel @ Making Life Fabulous says · 07.27.12

This is such great advice! It’s so good to be mindful of how we spend our time and energies, because as you said, so often we aren’t putting our best effort into any one thing.

Jess McCort says · 07.27.12

Love the advice, but if I followed it, I wouldn’t have time to read your blog. And I want to!!:)

Lemons says · 07.27.12

Brilliant advice – I’ve had to do this since I developed an elbow problem caused by using my laptop too much (I was studying and typing up my assignments/accessing course materials online)! The weirdest thing is, the world doesn’t end if you interact with it, instead of a screen 😉

sara says · 07.27.12

Hi Kate…..I was wondering if its ok to use the Redken shampoo with the Pureology conditioner?

Rachael {all things beautiful} says · 07.27.12

Wonderful advice! While it’s hard sometimes, I agree that it’s essential. Good for you for recognizing it and instilling your 6 PM shut down rule!

dryinkdesigns says · 07.27.12

Great idea! I think that we are all too involved with the computer in general! I try to live my life in the moment… aka. no cell phone on the dinner table. But this 6pm shut down is a GREAT addition!

All of us! says · 07.27.12

Perspective. That is what this post has helped me do. To put my normally chaotic life and “to-do” list into perspective. Social media has absolutely become the new “way” to communicate. I am absolutely admittedly addicted to Pinterest, blogging and photography. The reality is, I should be focused on God, my home, my children, my husband and myself. Not so concerned about the latest updates, pictures or pins. I don’t know that I will ever fully escape the want to log onto Facebook, Pinterest or Blogger. But remembering to manage my time more usefully will make my life and my family’s life even better.

I recently was reminded by God, through a “test” of faith that loving him is most important. By respecting and honoring him, I can then truthfully and openly love myself and my family. I find myself sometimes putting ideas/dreams aside out of fear that I will fail or I use not having enough time as an excuse to not get them done.

This was a much deeper comment than I intended. Although it was great to express my feelings. Thank you again for helping redirect my perspective through this post.

Happy Friday!

Andrea the san diego beauty product hound says · 07.27.12

I’m joining you!!

Judy says · 07.27.12

Excellent goal! I don’t get to see my husband until about 6pm every day and he goes to bed at 9:30pm so for those 3.5 hours I never hit the computer, or email, or the messages on my phone. 5 minutes on a computer turns into 30 in 5 seconds. GREAT idea to shut it all down for a while.

Kasey says · 07.28.12

i love this. such a great thought.

Nikki says · 07.28.12

I think it’s a great idea to shut down. So much time passes by while on the computer, you miss out on real things in life. I would rather meet a girl friend for coffee to talk in person! I shut down my facebook a year ago, and I don’t miss it. I’m happy with my decision! I might miss out on the latest baby announcements, or invites to parties, oh well. It’s a shame no one sends real snail mail photos or invitations anymore. Good Luck!

christiecz says · 07.30.12

I love this post for so many reasons.

Currently, I’m planning my wedding and choosing where to live/how to furnish my new place. Pinterest has been both a God send and a curse; I have a constant fear of my wedding not being photographable enough or of my apartment not looking trendy enough. So I have unfollowed Pinterest wedding boards, unfollowed wedding blogs, and have been trying to not try to live up to any standard.

I’m tired of planning and searching and fretting long into the wee hours of the morning, losing sleep and being a hazard to my own health. I think it’s time to adopt your 6:00 shut down rule for my own life, and maybe my future marriage too! I can see it doing a world of good in the busy lives we all tend to lead.

Thanks for such a wonderful post!