Fear not, this is not a blog about euthanising the family cat. It is about the day back when I put the Digital tools down. Cold Turkey. Phone Off. Laptop stowed away, iPad out of sight and out of mind. (Actually if I am really truthful, it’s possibly misplaced).
So why did I down tools? My brain needed a break.
Efforts to rejuvenate after a very busy 2020 were largely ineffective because I couldn’t stay off various socials or email or SMS or calls. I was swimming in tasks and my mind couldn’t stop but the action was slow.
I was bemoaning to a colleague that I felt unorganised and still hadn’t caught up on those tasks that were neglected while I wrote and published and promoted my first Book, Crops, People, Money & You. The Art of Excellent Farming (www.thinkagri.com.au/crops-people-money-you)
This very insightful colleague responded “It sounds like you aren’t ready for 2021”. And bamm! She was 100% correct. It was like she sliced through a piece of tomato with a razor sharp knife in one swift movement. This realisation cut deep.
After some more reflection, it was bleedingly obvious that what I needed was rest. And I mean real proper rest, not lying on the bed, scrolling through twitter rest. Most of my world knew this of course, I on the other hand, was a little slow to the party. (Sound familiar anyone else from workaholic land).
When the February lockdown was enforced, COVID sent me a gift in the form of two days enforced stay at home. The downside was a long awaited golf trip was cancelled but the opportunity was to work out how to effectively rest and relax at home.
So on day 1 the phone was turned off and it stayed that way for 11 hours, then 15 minutes on and another 10 hours off, then 60 minutes on then off again.
I read the paper without guilt, I poked around the garden and the house without checking the phone every ten minutes and getting distracted in messaging or posting.
Straight away some clarity and creativity emerged. The pressure to stay accessible and available and provide instant responses and the associated mental whirlpool dissipated within the first hour. The fresh ideas started flowing in, as soon as the other “stuff” moved out.
A plan of attack emerged for the week ahead, some new ideas started bubbling, an outline for an upcoming workshop became clear. The idea that became this blog some months later showed up.
I used old school pen and paper to make notes and got back to the low key house and garden day. A tidy yard, a tidy(ish) house and a tidy mind. Rested eyes and a rested brain. What a start to the week.
The benefits flowed on for days. I had the energy and motivation to tackle some tasks I’ve been avoiding for a while and after that rest I made more headway in two hours than I had in two months.
If you need to find time for slow thinking and planning try this:
Down your digital tools for a day. Your world doesn’t need you as much as you think it does. (Just sayin).
Strike a down tools agreement with the family and work colleagues (no phone after dinner for example).
Put new batteries in the transistor radio, fire up the CD collection or pick up a real book and enjoy a digital free day.
Set up an a challenge with a friend -who can stay disconnected the longest.
Your brain and those who depend on your brain will thank you for it.