For Better Performance: Disconnect

change messages Nov 15, 2011

I was recently on vacation with my family in Africa and had a chance to drastically disconnect with the speed of business, social media, and the internet.  Incredibly, I still had access to the internet if I wanted it in most places but chose not to use it if at all possible….including the middle of the Serengeti. Ridiculous.

It made me realize how much time I was spending on a daily basis tweeting, posting on Facebook, emailing, reading other people’s blogs and just generally spending an enormous amount of time in the black hole that is the internet.  The whole thing is a bit of a catch-22 as social media and the internet are great tools for what I do, but I had gradually let them overtake a good portion of my day.

Having the time to disconnect was very valuable:

  • It allowed me to connect more with the people within 5 feet of me. Those who are most important to me: my family.
  • It gave me the opportunity to stop looking for validation: who retweeted my last tweet? How many comments did I get on my Facebook post? Ugh. That’s disgusting.
  • It gave me back the gift of living and reveling in the moment….not thinking so much about the future. The clarity to just be here, now.  To stop wasting time and find more meaningful things to do.

I’ve had a hard time making myself sit down and update the blog (as you may have noticed) after this technology break. If this weren’t part of my business I’d be tempted to scratch it all together. It’s made me question its importance.  Is it?

We can’t be “on” all the time.  The persistent mainline into speed is a relentless source of stress we need to recover from occasionally in order to maintain resiliency. What are you doing to get recovery from speed and constant connection?  The silence can speak volumes.

I challenge you to put parameters on the number of hours you are connected and the amount of time you will strategically disconnect to get recovery.  Whether it’s going 1 hour without being connected into some form of technology or even 15 minutes, it’s a break worth taking for the sake of your productivity, engagement, happiness and sanity.    

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