Last Friday, March 1st, was the National Day of Unplugging. Sounds like a foreign concept for most of us, yet there are many religions who value turning off everything for the Sabbath or more frequently. The Sabbath is about a ritual day of rest. Rest is so important. With our phones so many of us are “on” 24/7. It often feels like we can never get away from work.
What are the Benefits of Unplugging?
Quality of Life
Turning off the phone and walking away from the computer screen improves your quality of life. Why? Because you can focus on the people you love. I keep my phone in my purse when I am out to lunch with a colleague or out to dinner with my family. I’m not perfect at this. Inevitably some thing comes up where I need to check my calendar, or we come across a word we don’t know and want to look it up. That’s the positive of technology. But the key is to put the phone away again immediately. It’s super easy to be sucked down the technology rabbit hole.
Unplugged vacations are amazing. We’ve cruised as a family in Central America. None of us missed our phones. I think we made one phone call to family from Belize just to say we were alive and well. Otherwise we were busy meeting new people, trying new foods, swimming with the sea turtles and seeing the sights. If you can, try an unplugged vacation. See how your productivity and your creativity skyrocket when you get back to work.
Unplugging is crucial to our health and well-being. Funny, I just mistyped the word health as wealth. While I corrected it, I believe my typo is also accurate. My definition of wealth is having the time to do the things I enjoy. I enjoy being unplugged – no checking email at the top of the mountain before the next run or choosing one last office chair for a client when my daughter is asking for help with her homework. My life changed dramatically when I stopped multi-tasking and started focusing only on the present moment. My husband will tell you that I am still notorious for checking the phone while watching TV. That would be true. I’ll make a commitment here and now to only look during the ads, ok?
If you haven’t lined up your vacation yet, we invite you to check out our home in Fenwick Island DE. It’s the definition of relaxing – walk to the beach, cast your kayak into the bay from our dock, enjoy grilled fish and a glass of wine on the back deck while the sun sets over the bay: 1506 Bay.
I am a fiend about keeping technology out of the bedroom. My phone is in a charger down the hall in the kitchen. I know myself and I would be way too tempted to check it, if it was any closer. My husband reads his iPad right until he falls asleep. If I did that, I would be up for hours fretting about my never ending to do list. I am super affected by light. The bright light can suppress the effects of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps you sleep. The last thing I need is to mess up my circadian rhythms. After all, I am the early bird in a family of night owls.
Unplugging also improves your relationships. In spite of hundreds of emojis, texting and social media still can’t touch the communication level of an in-person meeting. Your tone, your facial expressions, your body language all have an impact on your words. Did you know that our words account for only 7% of what we communicate? Body language is 55% and tone (how we say it) is 30%. If you want to have a deep and/or important conversation with someone, texting may not provide the best results. I find that when I’m out skiing with my daughter (no phones), we talk more and laugh more unless she’s shredding so fast that I’m just breathing to keep up. LOL! But certainly, our lift time is filled with general hilarity. Look down at the trees from a ski life sometime if you’re trying to think of a conversation topic.
Will You Try Unplugging?
You can start after work if it makes it easier. Then stay unplugged all day Saturday. I had already scheduled my “unplugged retreat” day for Friday March 8th. I got the date wrong. Hey, I’m human. I’ll let you know how my unplugged day goes in my next e-newsletter. Right now, I plan on going somewhere quiet to write a few more chapters of my book. If you have a favorite quiet place to go that’s not too far from Fairfield CT, please let me know. I’m so looking forward to it!
Ready to quietly but steadfastly up level your game in your office? Let’s get on a call to see how I can help you