A few weekends ago, Eric and I spent a few hours tucked away in Lincoln Park at a coffee shop and bar called Kibbitznest. This local spot is fully dedicated to disconnecting from technology – aka a book and board game haven that urges you to check out of social media and into the good stuff going on around you.
Life moves fast, that’s no surprise. We’re running around from one place to the next in our day-to-day lives, and in between it all we’re often times guilty of being head down with tech instead of soaking up out surroundings.
What’s worse, is the screen time trickles into precious moments when we’re actually spending time with loved ones too!
We’re by no means perfect, but when Eric and I are together, we make a conscious effort to be away from our phones or computers as much as possible. As husband and wife, that quality time is important to us. Being intentional and invested in whatever we’re doing together builds up our relationship.
I try to apply this to nights with girlfriends or phone calls with family too. How can I be fully checked into our conversations when I’m multitasking online?
Now there are always exceptions. A lot of times, to do what we love, we need the internet. For example, now while Eric and I chat, I’m blogging and he’s editing beautiful photos, both on our laptops. In this way, we get to fuel our creative fires and dedicate time to things we love together.
All this being said, after thinking about ways I can continue to strive to intentionally and in the moment, I’m sharing 5 ways to unplug and be present day to day.
1. Hang out where there isn’t wifi. It seems like just about every place does right? I know, I know. So imagine my surprise when I heard about this gem Kibbitznest. When the vibes around you are saying unplug and engage with something other than a screen, it can lead to major relaxation. If you are at in a spot with wifi, ignore the code or see #2.
2. Leave your phone in the other room or flip it over. Whether you’re catching up over dinner, or cuddled on the couch – I think the tried and true line applies: out of sight, out of mind. Send any urgent texts you need to, and then put that phone away so it’s not silently screaming at you to check notifications. You can always at least flip it over so that little light doesn’t keep you distracted.
3. Download an app. This seems counter-intuitive, right? Believe it or not, there are all sorts of apps or plug-ins you can to use tech, to block tech. Great for when you need the internet, but want to stay on task and avoid falling into the Facebook/Twitter/Buzzfeed hole. With a lot of apps, you can set a timer and choose what you want to block.
4. Leave work at work, as much as possible. I know this one isn’t doable all time or for everyone. We have families, we have commitments, we are human. In line with what I mentioned earlier about quality time though, if I can spend an extra bit at work to knock something out, I will – especially if it means at home I can unplug and be fully invested in the time with my husband. If you can wrap up to-dos before being home or with others, you’ll feel more free to be present.
5. Fill your time with things you love. You know how when you’re on vacation, you’re not texting as much or on social media? It’s because you’re traveling and soaking up life and having FUN. Now we all can’t be on 24/7 vacay mode, but is there a gym class we love we can commit to? Or standing happy hour with girlfriends on your calendar? Can you sign up for a class to how-to [fill in that thing still on your list]? When we’re doing things we love, that’s more time we’re engaged in the present.
Now help me out some more! What are ways you find success in unplugging or staying focus on things you love?