It feels a bit weird to say yes to what could be construed as a negative word – disconnecting. That little ‘dis’ prefix immediately makes us think we’ll be missing out by not doing the thing.
But what we’ve found at unplugged central is that disconnecting actually helps you to connect – or reconnect – to all sorts of things.
- You’re not depriving yourself of something – well, you are a bit! But by that simple action of putting your phone or other device away – for a weekend, a day or even just an hour – you’ll be amazed what can be achieved.
- Where you might have been mindlessly scrolling through social media posts that almost certainly make you cross or agitated, you are now giving yourself permission to connect in other ways.
- If you’re not glued to your phone on that walk at lunchtime you might say hello to fellow humans. You might turn – or return – to analogue activities that give your fretful brain a bit of a rest. I quite often incorporate a little 15 minute drawing session into my lunchtime break – and after a morning of Teams meetings it feels like a refreshing waterfall for my eyes not to be looking at a screen.
- If you’re not checking your messages and emails in the evening you have more time to interact with family members who are right there in front of you – and it can only be a good thing to help the kids build these good habits too.
- Instead of reading addictive yet frankly vacuous celebrity gossip online you might instead reach for that book you’ve been meaning to get stuck into and rediscover the joy of real reading.
- Rather than losing precious time fiddling about with nonsense on the internet (we ALL do this sometimes and heaven only knows where the time goes) you might instead arrange to meet a friend for coffee or a drink – or (shock, horror!) call them on the phone – to learn what’s going on for them and share your own challenges and successes.
Disconnecting for a bit is good for you – like the old IT advice to unplug and plug back in for a tech issue. It works for us too and you’ll find yourself re-energised and much more effective as a result. Comms Unplugged is the living proof of this and the concept is one you can incorporate into every day. Even half an hour will make a difference.
So do it – say YES! to disconnecting and see what time you’ve reclaimed – you’ll probably surprise yourself.
By Sally Northeast from Comms Unplugged for Alive!