Time to #unplugBy: lifeorganics | May 04 2016

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I recently read an article on fastcompany.com talking about a guy who unplugged from his digital life for 25 days. I was interested in two things after reading this article: 1) the possibility of going that long without social media when it’s not only your lifestyle, but also part of your financial security; and 2) the ability to recognize that point when you just need to detox from something and what you can take away from it.

I find that in today’s society we’re all plugged into something. For some it’s twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram, tumblr, and other digital outlets…for others it’s parties, social gatherings, careers, families, church…and unfortunately for others, drugs, cigarettes, overeating, caffeine, and other more detrimental addictions.

The thing about being plugged in is that we plug in because we believe we need to. An iron, for example, is plugged into an outlet because it needs electricity to work. Without electricity, the iron doesn’t get hot, clothes still have wrinkles and the domino effect goes on from there. But what I want to propose is that some of us need to take time and unplug from the things we feel we can’t live without. Yes, we need to iron our clothes, or at least take them to a dry cleaner and pay them to do it, but I’m talking about more of the unhealthy things that we’re plugged into.

One of the takeways from the article was that this guy realized that by updating social media whenever he was in the moment, he was actually not in the moment because he kept interrupting himself in order to update other people about that moment. There are times when we want to share our moments with others, but when we’re grasping for information or grasping to learn about other peoples’ lives, or twitching because we haven’t done that thing that we feel we need for our lives to progress…then might be a good time to stop, and #unplug.

So how do we unplug? Cold turkey doesn’t work for all of us, so I want to be practical and conscientious of those who need a more gracious, gradual approach.

1. Prepare.

For some things you need to plan alternatives to the thing you’re unplugging from. Please don’t unplug from one thing and then plug into something else that you don’t need to do! Plan ways to replace that thing you’re plugged into with something relaxing, maybe even extreme. Reading, catching up on shows on your DVR, exercise, visiting friends, taking a long drive. Whatever it is, make preparations to replace that thing with something else. Being unprepared may cause your mind to wander when looking for something to do.

2. Execute.

Simply put, unplug. Stop doing whatever the thing is. Maybe start with a day. If it’s real excessive, you may need to start with a couple of hours. The goal isn’t to never do the thing again (unless you don’t need to), the goal is more overall balance.

3. Repeat.

When you find a way to successfully unplug, continue to do it from time to time. What I hope you’ll find is that you don’t miss the thing you unplugged from the more you make it a point not to do it as much.

There are some who practice a Sabbath, or a time of rest. There are others who fast for a period of time from food or other things that occupy their time so they can focus inwardly and meditate or concentrate on more important matters. Others just get out of the house, head to the coffeehouse and read a book. What I’m encouraging you to do is to find ways to #unplug so that you don’t get burned out, anxious, irritable, hard to work with, uncool to be around, etc. Unplugging is not just a way to catch up on life, but I believe it’s an essential way to sustain it.

 

#Unplug: The Complete, Printable Guide
http://www.fastcompany.com/3012710/unplug/unplug-the-complete-printable-guide

#Unplug: Baratunde Thurston left the internet for 25 days, and you should, too
http://www.fastcompany.com/3012521/unplug/baratunde-thurston-leaves-the-internet

 

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