We tried… we survived. It wasn’t perfect.

I am in front of my computer a lot now… meetings that used to be face to face are online. Personal development is now online. Less driving time, more computer time.

I thought I would love it. No travel. And in some ways I do. I gain a lot more productivity time with less travel, but sometimes by the end of the day I’m sick of the computer. I’m sick of seeing myself on video or tired of the computer screen. Has this happened to you yet?

I love my company. I love working on my company. I love helping my clients. But with all the screen time I started to wonder if, while social distancing, we had gotten closer to the visual of Wall-E.

I started to notice that at the end of the day I wanted a book over TV, or maybe a bath or music. Anything but more screen time.

I was browsing through Chapters/Indigo a few months ago and was drawn to the book 24/6: The Power of Unplugging one Day a Week by Tiffany Shlaln. I didn’t read the book but the premise was interesting. Shutting off, unplugging, one day a week. I’ve added it to my reading list.

I thought about this book recently as my husband and I talked about how much time we were in front of our computers now. And I proposed an idea. Let’s schedule one day a month to unplug. To be honest I didn’t think he would say yes. He did!

I didn’t think we were ready for one day a week but I was excited about trying one day a month.

April 19th… we set the date. I scheduled it in our calendars. We talked very little about it. Honestly, we weren’t sure what exactly unplugging meant and we were winging it. Could we stream music? Could we google a question? I had a Talk scheduled for the 20th, what if someone registered at the last minute?

As the date grew nearer, I started to wonder if I could unplug…

It’s April 20th as I draft this blog.

We survived. We were successful… sort of.

I slept late which is unusual for me. I found my husband looking at social media when I got up. He had forgotten until he saw me. We did agree to stream music and I did have to send a last-minute registration link (I was thankful my event app flashed me a notice regarding the registration so I could respond), and I did use my timer to remind me about laundry. We did use the internet to learn how to play two new games (we watched the player tutorials). My husband did get caught playing”Two Dots” for a few minutes. I had a catch-up phone call with a friend.

We did have some interesting conversations, played board games, cleaned up and sorted some old stuff, had a great dinner, and read. We both stayed off email (except the one I quickly sent to send the link), avoided social media, and did not respond to any messaging apps.

Was it hard? Yes and no. As we talked about the experience as we got ready for bed we agreed that we still need to work on the definition of unplugging. We both thought we found it relatively easy to shut off social media for one day. I found it hard to stay away from email. He found it hard to stay off of games.

Was it perfect?… Nope.

Were we happy with our day?… Yes. We both thought it was a good day! We felt busy and present. We thought for our first attempt we did OK. We agreed to unplug again in May.

Maybe one day we will get to once a week. Just not today. I’m not ready.

I would love to hear about your experience. Do you unplug? Have you ever thought about it?

“Especially when you have a lot going on, you must find a way to unplug and focus on yourself.”

Mandy Ingber