5 for 5 blog – Unplugging

3 Aug

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Good morning everyone.

A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to take a little time, as I mentioned in the last post. My family and I took a trip out to the Pacific Northwest and spent time traveling around Oregon. I knew going into this trip that I did not want to be checking my phone constantly and really “try” to disconnect.

The good news, I didn’t have a choice. For the first 6 days of the 8 days we were gone, I had no mobile phone coverage. (Disclaimer: fortunately I had GPS, which prevented us from getting horribly lost.) I wanted to share just a few of my thoughts on disconnecting as I am trying to get back up to speed on the other side of this vacation

  • It was not an easy transition
    • Admittedly the first day and a half were tough. I felt myself picking up my phone a lot. Honestly, my head hurt a little too (my digital addiction must be really bad). But the thing I kept thinking about was that I trusted my team. I had given them the option to text if they needed me (unbeknownst to me it wouldn’t have gotten through anyways). By day two, I was in full swing with reading, my photography, and just enjoying being away.
  • Time seemed much longer
    • We can all relate to vast swaths of time being lost staring at screens: reading email…flicking through social media. What was amazing was the effect on my perception of time as our trip went on disconnected. For once, I was present. Actually in the present moment. And the hours and days seemed long…and full. I was truly grateful for that since the actual trip can feel like it flies by at times.
  • Maybe we are not supposed to come back refreshed
    • I was exhausted when I got back. We hiked and we explored. As I mentioned above time, seemed amazingly long. The typical joke is that “we need vacations from our vacations.” But as I was thinking about, disconnecting definitely allowed me to relax. And in that relaxation and being present, perhaps it was the just having more sensory inputs, but I found myself beat each day and by the time I got back. And while I would LOVE to find research on this, I’m not sure if it was entirely a lack of being rested, or as I felt, an effect of actually slowing down and enjoying each activity with my family.
  • Disconnecting is a choice
    • We can disconnect any time we want. We can disconnect in the evenings. We can disconnect for an hour at lunch. While I didn’t have a choice on this vacation, many people make a point of disconnecting on Saturdays, a kind of digital Sabbath as Laura Vanderkam has written about in “What the most successful people do before breakfast”. Any way you choose to do it,

I certainly was not perfect about disconnecting throughout the entire vacation. When we went back to Portland the last two days, I found myself logging into different sites and I started becoming distracted again. Going forward, I will use this trip, not only as a good memory, but a constant reminder of the powerful impact of cutting the “wireless” connections and I hope you will consider doing the same on a regular basis.

Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

8 Pro Photographers Share the Best Advice They Ever Got – by DL Cade – via 500PX

Favorite Ways to Unplug – by “various” – via fiftythree.com

Mind Full of Creativity – by Jennifer Quarrie – via The Center for Creative Studies

What Really Happens To Your Brain And Body During A Digital Detox – by Elizabeth Segran – via Fast Company

7 Reasons People Who Love The Beach Are The Happiest People To Be Around – by Chrissy Stockton – via Thought Catalog

 

All the best, kevin