Do you ever feel as if you could be so much more productive if only you were less distracted? Or do you ever find yourself feeling overstretched, restless or just ‘busy’ inside? There’s a way to fix that, you know.
We are in the Golden Age of connectivity. No matter where you are, or what you’re doing, or for what purpose, technology and the internet have a way for you to simultaneously stay connected to anywhere, anything and everything else. There’s an app for everything – easily installable in a single tap on our very smart smartphones. Apps that are helpful in making sure you stay plugged in all the time… maybe a little too helpful.
One thing I enjoy doing in my free time is reading interviews and autobiographies of extremely successful people. It’s inspiring, and it’s also educational. No matter their gender, net worth or number of years at the top, there’s a word that they all mention in common: unplugging.
When Being Cut-off Isn’t a Bad Thing
When you find your mind constantly racing or your thoughts continually loud, or when restlessness is at an all-time high and productivity at an all time low, it’s time to unplug. Truthfully, you should make unplugging a ritual well before your wellness reaches that point.
Unplugging is about shutting yourself out from the outside world and silencing the noise. It’s about powering down the technology, shelving the devices (or non-critical use of them), and changing your usual scenery. If you spend the majority of your time indoors, go outside and submerge yourself in live sights and sounds and breathe in the fresh air. If you’re rarely at home, draw the curtains, hunker down, and declare unplug day your day. No matter how you choose to unplug, the importance is to disconnect. Your text messages, emails, social media notifications, ‘recommended stories’, missed calls, and voicemails will be there when you get back. For some people, unplugging is about taking an hour or a day to get their personal wellness back in a good space. For others, it’s a ritual to keep it that way, and for others unplugging is a lifestyle.
Oprah, who is arguably one of the busiest people on Earth once said that she unplugs once per week on Sundays. No wi-fi, no emails, no devices, no work. She calls it her “spiritual base of renewal” and confessed on her unplug day, she does absolutely nothing. For several years, Beyonce refused to own a cellphone. The singer once confessed on Good Morning America, that when she’s not working, she prefers to be disconnected. “I like not being accessible,” she said, and for her, having a cellphone would mean people would be able to contact her anywhere at any time. She later got one out of necessity, but claims she still rarely uses it and refuses to keep it charged. Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the fourth wealthiest person in the world still refuses to own one. Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the Brooklyn Nets and whom’s net-worth is a remarkable 17 billion, balances life and unplugging as if pacing himself during a race, sprinting through a season of intense work and then scaling back to unplug and spend down time with real friends. “I spend 15 hours in my office every day,” the Russian billionaire said. “Every three weeks, I go away and spend time with my friends, because that’s important, too.” However you choose to unplug, we unplug to recenter, refocus and to refresh. Because that’s when we are at our most peaceful, our happiest, and when we are at our best.
Next week, I’m beginning my own Unplug ritual and plan to make it a lifestyle for years to come. I often find myself working during the week well after my required end of 5 pm. At home (and even on the way home while sitting in traffic), I’m responding to emails, comments, catching up on notifications, or working through freelance web development jobs for family and friends. Besides that, and my blog, and taking care of my pets and my child, I’m resting on my pillow around 1:30 – 2 am, and waking up at 6 am to do it all over again. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining, and love my life and what I do. But I need an unplug day (or two) to replenish myself, re-align my focus, be well, and find new inspiration and energy to give all I do my absolute best.
Tuesdays and Saturdays will be my Unplug Days. I’m powering down my phone immediately after work on Tuesdays and all day on Saturdays. I’m setting my landline to ‘Do Not Disturb’, unplugging my computer, and flipping the switch on my wi-fi. And then I’m going to go outside and live. There’ll be no blogging those days, no emails or social media. Tuesdays are a good choice for me because who doesn’t want to unplug after a gruesome Monday that just crashed your previous weekend? I mean, yeesh. Saturdays are a natural choice, because its the only ‘true’ full day of the weekend. I really look forward to making unplugging a ritual and watching the blossoms from it unfold as they come in. How do you unplug? – xo ♥