Unplugging

UnpluggedWe all know we should and yet we stink at it—balancing work and home. The line between professional life and personal life, in many thanks to advances in technology, is becoming thinner and thinner (in fact there was a piece on our TDS Business blog about how France is trying to deal with this).

Staying plugged in can be a good thing for productivity, and yet, if you don’t know how to unplug from your devices and social networks, it can add a lot of stress in your life. Not to fear! PBS MediaShift has some ideas about how to disconnect with ease:

    • First, get yourself a traditional alarm clock. If you rely on your phone, the first thing you do in the morning is grab that phone. It takes a lot of control not to then check email or shoot off a text.

    • Gather family or friends over a meal and bring up the topic of unplugging. Ask what they think about it. Discuss the merits. Discuss the downfalls.

    • Set achievable goals for yourself. First try unplugging for an hour after you get home from work. Work your way up from there.

    • Put the phone out of sight. Designate a basket or place or cupboard where devices are stashed during unplugged time.

Of course, once you’ve put down the phone, tablet, or laptop, what then? They’ve got ideas for that too:

    • Go for a long walk in a park near your house or even a national forest. Lead a nature scavenger hunt. Print out a map before hand or bring an old-fashioned guide book. Print out pictures of items for the kids to find. Bring along a bag to collect items for an art project later.

    • Do yard work. Mow the lawn. Plant flowers. Get rid of weeds. Start the vegetable garden you’ve had on your “to do” list forever. Get dirty.

    • Find silence. Play charades. Meditate. Yell for 10 seconds and then be quiet for 30.

    • Have a family book club. Pick a book that appeals to everyone in your family. Read it together and discuss over a meal. Have kids create art based on themes from the book.

    • Get the beat grooving and have a dance party on Friday night. Invite the neighbors and other families. Whip out your favorite records, cassette tapes or a-tracks and go back to a time before the iPod.

You can read the rest from PBS MediaShift here, but how do you unplug? If you have any other ideas, please share!

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