My phone vibrates and, almost absentmindedly, I reach for it. Checking to see that latest email, news update, text, or what-have-you.
Before I even realize what I’ve done, I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of sorts. Spending a minute or two or twenty on something that I hadn’t even intended. Not to mention the fact that whatever I had been doing before, has been completely interrupted.
Whether I was having a conversation, cooking dinner, playing a game, sketching a new design, brainstorming a new project – my flow is gone and I know it is going to take at least a handful of minutes to get it back, if it comes back at all.
I have been aware for a long time about how having a smartphone impacts my life. Both positively, being able to maintain not one – but two – small businesses in moments stolen throughout the day. And negatively, interrupting my life too much and too often.
After a particularly terrible day – where my flow with my little ones and with my work was interrupted too many times – I made a bold move. I turned the phone off. I shut the computer. I stepped away, completely.
And in that time, I felt a little bit less stressed. A little more care-free. My little ones and I danced. We went outside without checking the weather. The phone didn’t buzz. I didn’t check it like a Pavlovian dog.
I loved that day, and I’ve been doing it every day since. I’ve been unplugging. Not for the whole day – let’s not get crazy!!! – but for three hours each morning.
I’ve been tuning out to tune in. And I’ve been learning a lot in the process – about me, about my kids, and about the way that technology impacts our lives.
And I’d like to share my experiences from my unplugged mornings here. Because unplugging, allowing yourself the time and space to be truly mindful in your day, is just one way to make it easier to craft connections. Just one way to give yourself the time and space to live an authentic, creative life.
Anyone want to join me? It’s simple. Just turn off your phone – like for real off – and shut your computer during a set number of hours each day. Step away, watch and listen to how you feel, how your little ones react. See if you want to do it again the next day. Then come on back next week to see how I’m faring in my unplugged adventures and feel free to share some of your own.
Let’s do this!