Disconnecting: Part Two

Since I wrote about disconnecting here I've been trying to unplug more. A bit of a digital detox if you will.

Disconnecting from screens and media for large chunks of the day and trying to single-task. I know, aiming to just concentrate on one thing at a time - how radical!

I'm not sure if it was the end-of-year/ festive season madness but come January I was pretty knackered. This fatigue increased with screen time. By the end of a day filled with work (computer/writing based), kids, shopping, washing, and snatched moments of reading media on my phone, my brain felt jumpy and under-nourished. 

As if multi-tasking might be draining my thinking and creative juices. Or worse still, was it depleting my energy to stick to one, sustained task that required effort and attention over the long haul? 

By the end of last year I was looking at my to-read pile and dodging the thicker books - purely out of a reluctance to start a big book because it might take too long.

Yikes! So I began The Unplug. Left the phone at home when I didn't need it, turned off the internet, focused on one thing at a time, scheduled blog and social media time. 

Then a bigger unplug. We've just come back from 3 days bush camping on the NSW south coast. Three days of no internet, phone, news or radio. Instead the sounds of crashing surf, the wind in the eucalyptus trees, and the hop and swish outside our tent at night of curious kangaroos and possums.

My three and one year old boys swam in rock pools and we spent hours spotting crabs, tiny fish, wombats, wallabies, goannas and birds. I love this about camping. The days get super simple and revolve around food, how to cook it, whether to have another swim (always yes!) and what animals we can see.

I deliberately didn't take many photos because I wanted to be part of the moment rather than looking at it through a camera screen. 

Moments like the look of amazement when my youngest lay in the tent for the very first time and gazed up at the trees swishing above him.  Or listening to my excited toddler tell me about the dinosaurs living in the bush. Or watching the way he said hello to the kangeroos and goannas we saw around the camp-site, as if they were old, firm friends.

We all came back energised, filthy, and keen for more camping trips. I realised how much we can miss looking at a screen, or down at our phones. We miss those golden moments of amazement, discovery and joy. The emotions rippling over our loved ones' faces. We lose precious chances to connect and share in real life.

So I'm continuing The Unplug and concentrating on enjoying these moments of life-connection.

On the power of single-tasking, the energetic Pip Lincolne of Meet Me At Mikes has written a great post In Praise of Single Tasking, with some top ideas about doing one thing at a time, with purpose and focus. 

How about you? Any experiments with unplugging, recharging, and experimenting with going about things in different ways?


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