Yesterday, I was sorting through quite a backlog of snail mail. Lots of junk, too many credit card offers (feh!), and a bill or two.
My favorite part of the mail is getting magazines. I don’t subscribe to many, but I love the ones I get. Inc. Magazine, Mother Earth News, Fast Company, and Our State.
It was the cover of Fast Company that grabbed my attention:
#UNPLUG: My life was crazy. So I disconnected for 25 days. You should too.
Egads! I let it sink in that I had just disconnected for 17 days. No smartphone, no email, no internet service of ANY kind. In fact, I lived without plumbing or electricity for 17 days. I’ll spare you the details on the plumbing. But if I needed a light, I either used my headlamp or the moonlight (which was full by the time we left the Canyon).
Now, to be clear, the dude who wrote this article was the Mayor of Four Square in his area. He was involved in EVERY social media outlet possible. His online presence was HUGE. You, gentle reader, may not be quite so connected. It doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t relate to his reasons for wanting to unplug:
- His life was indeed crazy. Crazy busy. 24/7 crazy busy.
- He wanted to be mentally free of obligations, most of which asserted themselves in some way in digital fashion.
Can you relate? If you think about it, I bet A LOT of the requests for your time, your money, and your energy come to you digitally. Probably mostly via email, but other ways, too.
And it is stressing you out. It’s making you distracted. And you’re suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
I see you checking email in the middle of networking meetings; as your employees are trying to talk to you; while you’re driving (or at best while stopped at red lights); in the middle of dinner wth your families; and as soon as your eyes pop open in the morning.
You are afraid. Afraid of missing out: on the big deal; with the next big potential client; with the angry client (we have to be responsive, don’t we?). And you’re afraid of just not being “in the know.”
I’ll be talking more about digital detoxing in the coming months. The saturation of digital connectedness in our lives is epidemic. And I assert it’s unhealthy if we just “let it happen.”
There are ways to regain control and sanity. As the Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan would say, “We must embrace rules, boundaries, and limitations.” It’s the only way to beat back the crazy.
P.S. All this digital connectedness can also be a HUGE time-suck. There’s stuff you want to get done. It’s weighing on your mind, keeping you stuck, stressed, and churning. I’m creating a new low-impact, high-results-oriented program to get the important stuff DONE so you have the time, energy, and money to do the fun stuff (like plan a real #UNPLUGGED vacation). Details Tuesday!