I like to ‘disconnect’ from time to time to allow myself that ‘me-time’ free of emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. These moments are increasingly rare because of our connection with technology but because of this, it is all the more important to unplug from time to time. And before you get all worried, disconnection doesn’t have to last for weeks or days or even hours. Sometimes, a few minutes of unadulterated disconnection works wonders for one’s mental well being, focus and productivity.
Here are some benefits of being disconnected (albeit temporarily)
- You give yourself more ‘headspace’. No notifications, pings, pop ups to fill up your headspace
- You gain more room to focus
- You can allow yourself to be more creative. Once you stop consuming (reading/scrolling), you can start producing (writing/planning)
- You allow some quietness
- You can reflect and think
- You can (and should take a break)
So how should you go about disconnecting? I strongly recommend you find what fits you from some of the strategies listed below – often times you’ll find that it is probably a mix of them or a few of them incorporated into your own strategies:
1. Keep it out of sight. Simply unplug your connector or cable or turn off your wireless connection. The act of doing so is important to unplugging because you’re telling yourself – making a small commitment – that you wish to unplug and stay disconnected for awhile.
2. Change your location! Sometimes a switch of location is all you need to unplug. For instance, why not leave your phone behind in your locker and take your work to the company cafe? Or head out to the library for some peace and quiet work time.
3. Flipping the switch. Alternate between connection and disconnection. So say you stay disconnected for 15 minutes, you can then go connected for the next 5 minutes. The idea is to place the time of connection as a ‘reward’ for your undisturbed work.
4. Go for a run. One of the best ways is simply to go for a walk or a run. (Without the mobile phone!) The idea is that this period of exercise is entirely unconnected where you cannot be reached electronically.
Start small, with just a few minutes of pure disconnection and try to extend it further. Give it a go, you may not see immediate effects but if you try and do it consistently enough, it would have a positive effect on the amount of work you can get work and just a sense of mental clarity from time to time.