one where I left behind my computer and all of my other mobile devices.
Was it unnerving to think about disconnecting from the world? Absolutely.
Prior to leaving, these type of voices ran through my head:
- It’s so difficult to prepare for technology-free time.
- What if someone needs me?
- They’ll be soooo much to catch up on when I return.
But I chose to not let fear of being out-of-complete-control stop me from letting go and ended up making an interesting observation in the process: Even though I have good boundaries with technology (no e-mail pop-up alerts, no instant messaging, etc.), some part of me feels constantly on alert when I’m constantly connected.
Within even a few hours of weaning myself off of technology, I sensed an “inversion” of my focus–in a good way. My thoughts and feelings shifted from a vast network of people and priorities to a greater awareness of myself and my surroundings in the moment. In turning my devices off, I was able to turn off.
Although an “unplugged” holiday might not fit into your schedule right now, I highly recommend that you test out this principle in your own life. Investing time in intentional detachment can help you unwind and connect with yourself.
Here are some tips on how to refresh:
- Set aside a block of time free from outside obligations. A day or more is best but even a few hours in the morning or evening will do.
- Switch off and–better yet–remove yourself from connected devices. For instance, if you’re cocooning at home, leave your devices in the office. Or if you’re heading out, leave your computer and phone at home.
- Keep a journal close at hand to record your thoughts.
- Give yourself permission to connect with your intuition and do what you feel like doing in the moment from taking a walk to working on a creative project to staring out into space.
- As you near the end of your time, jot down a short list of what you’ll need to do upon “re-entry” so you don’t fear the transition into a fully connected existence.
Time away from technology acts as a “re-set” button that leaves you better connected with yourself and better able to connect with others.
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through coaching and training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review recently published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.