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Take Time To Disconnect

Take Time To Disconnect

Being connected, getting information all the time, having constant distractions – it has all become a part of our daily lives. While computers and the internet can be a positive addition to our lives, it may be getting harder to disconnect and shut it off for a while. Taking steps to disconnect will get you one step further to living a simpler life.

So how do we go about disconnecting? There are varying strategies, and no one is better than another. I won’t be able to tell you what will work best for you — I suggest you experiment, and find a method that fits your needs and situation best. Often that will be a hybrid approach, which is perfectly great — every person is different, and no cookie-cutter approach will work for everyone.

Some ideas:

1. Unplug ~ Just unplug your network connector or cable, or turn off your wireless router, or go to your connections settings and disable temporarily. Close your browser and open another program so you can focus on creating without distraction. Do this for as long as you can.

2. Have a disconnect time each day ~ It’s like setting office hours. You set the times that work best for you, and you can even let people know about these times. Let’s say you are disconnected from 8-10 a.m. each day, or 4-5 p.m., or even anytime after 2 p.m. Tell people your policy, so they know you won’t be available for email or IM.

3. Work somewhere without a connection ~ This might be the public library — while it has computers with Internet access, there’s no wireless in my library. Some coffeeshops don’t have wireless connection. Some of you might have to look for a good building that’s quiet but doesn’t have free wireless. Go to this disconnected zone ready to create, or perhaps just to relax and enjoy the quiet.

4. Get outside ~ Leave your devices behind and go for a walk, or a run, or a bike ride. Enjoy nature. Watch a sunset, go to the beach or a lake or river or forest. Take your child or spouse or friend. Recharge your batteries, reflect and contemplate.

5. Leave your mobile device behind, or shut it off ~ When you’re on the go, you don’t always need to be connected. Sure, the iPhone and Android and Blackberry are cool, but they make the problem worse than ever. If you’re driving, shut off your device. If you’re meeting with someone, turn off the device so you can focus on that person completely. If you’re out with your family or friends and not working … leave the device at home. You don’t need this personal time to be interrupted by work or your impulse to check on things.

6. Use blocking software ~ If you’re doing work on the computer, you can use various types of software to shut yourself off from the Internet, or at least from the most distracting portions of it. For example, you can use software to block your web email, Twitter, favorite news sites, favorite blogs, and so on — whatever your worst distractions are, you can block them selectively. Or block all Internet browsing.

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8 Responses to “Take Time To Disconnect”

  1. This is so essential. Thanks for sharing specific steps people can take. I think some people are so busy and so plugged in that they don’t even know how to unplug.
    Susan Critelli recently posted..Overcoming the Social Media Marketing Time SuckMy Profile

  2. David Allen says:

    I did a disconnect. Today. I watched the FA Cup final this afternoon and forgot all about work for a while. Would have been better if Liverpool would have won the game.
    David Allen recently posted..Garageband Mac Groovin’ and a Movin’My Profile

  3. Jodie says:

    Disconnecting is a great way of getting back to reality and looking at the simple things in your life that make you happy, like taking time out to read a story to the kids. I also find sometimes just leaving the mobile phone at home (mostly by accident) I have a more relaxed day. Thanks for some more good ideas for disconnecting.
    Jodie recently posted..How to get Kids to save MoneyMy Profile

  4. Vic says:

    What excellent advice. It’s so easy to get caught up with things that really aren’t that important. In the end, having a balanced life is what matters.

  5. Iinterviewed a screenwriter who said she liked to work in the basement, where she got no internet connection. That was her secret to productivity.

    Great tips here. Thanks!

  6. Jimmy says:

    This is extremely hard for me to do. I like the designated unplug time every day. I am starting to do this. Tomorrow, lol! Seriously though, tomorrow!
    Jimmy recently posted..How To Eat More Often To Weigh Less And Live LongerMy Profile

  7. Ionut Popa says:

    I know I have to disconnect more from my daily computer and work activities, but I can’t seem to find the time :(
    Ionut Popa recently posted..Cabot Trail scenic roadway in Cape BretonMy Profile

  8. I was forced to disconnect yesterday when I had a technical problem and I had a total meltdown trying to fix it! LOL When we were sorted out, my husband took me for a walk by the river and I felt much better. Didn’t even take my purse or cell phone, it was a BREAK!
    Sally K Witt, Social Media and Ministry recently posted..Just for FunMy Profile

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