I’ve written before about the noticing the joys of life when you take off the ipod and notice some of the sounds of life all around you. Now for a longer time.
I just came back from Makajawan Scout camp in northern Wisconsin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ6C9toFyp0). I only went for 4 days, it was 4 days of bliss – no blackberry, computer or cell phone. (OK, I texted a parent and emailed some pictures while I was gone.) But the opportunity to not feel locked into checking for messages and emails or touching base daily with clients and colleagues was absolutely refreshing. Now let me say I have become a crackberry addict – checking all the time, even nights and weekends. My thumbs have become adept at both IMs and EMs.
But there’s something about clearing the mind and not thinking or doing anything work or even home related that is just refreshing. I was able to focus on my surroundings, on my Scouts, on my newest Eagle Scout. I was able to get to know some of my fellow adult leaders from other Troops and share ideas for activities and outings, vocations and avocations. Concerns were about the weather, getting through merit badges, and cooking our Friday night dinner. I’d highly recommend that you too find a time to just unplug for a few days, at least.
Because even when I go on vacation, I check my devices for messages regularly. This time, in part because we were so far off the beaten path, I couldn’t. So what are the benefits?
– Reduce stress – why worry about something you can’t do anything about?
– Free thinking – find the time to clear your head, regenerate ideas, thoughts, and creativity
– Self focus – Without outside distractions, you can think more about yourself, your goals, your desires
– Stronger connections with others – your attention is not divided, as it often is when you are managing messages
Make it a goal for you, before the summer is out, to take a few days unplugged. Just don’t forget to plug back in and let me know how it went!
About this BlogThis is Howard's ongoing exploration of ways to increase and expand lifelong learning.