I’m all for little experiments in life to try out new things that might improve the well-being of myself and those close to me.
Usually, these changes are motivated by a part of my life that I’m not so happy with.
For example, recently I’ve added extra exercise to the core 20 minutes morning yoga practice that’s been a daily habit for over seven years.
So now I’m also aiming for 10000 steps a day, plus most days a simple evening HIIT session called Fives – five pull ups, 10 squats, 15 press ups within a minute (resting for any of the minute remaining), done five times.
It feels good, and whilst I’ve never been a couch potato and have always walked plenty, I’m exercising more – and with greater variety – than in years.
On to this next experiment, Sundays Unplugged.
A few days back we spoke about reading more photography books and I also have a couple of nutrition books I’m keen to read, which ties in with my aforementioned greater commitment to my health, exercise and digestive system this year.
The trouble is, I don’t have any reading slots in my day to day schedule. At least, not where I read books.
So to address this, I’ve started Sundays Unplugged.
As with most of my life these days, the premise is simple – No internet access on Sunday.
Which I hope will free up a little time for other unplugged activities like walking, making photographs, playing with the kids, and of course reading those books.
I came to this point by noticing I was checking too much online, too often.
My email, WordPress stats, Flickr, eBay (still – though not for cameras).
This largely involuntary half (un)conscious habit then extends to other things, like checking my Misfit fitness tracker app, or checking the screen of a camera after taking a picture, even though I know I got the exposure right as I was taking it. More on that one in a forthcoming post.
Back to Sundays Unplugged and here are my first thoughts after my debut Sunday –
- I didn’t touch my MacBook or iPad and only checked my phone when it pinged with a new (text) message. Which wasn’t often.
- I find it much easier to give up something completely (like going cold turkey) than try to restrict myself to a small amount.
- I liked not thinking about when and how to find time to “catch up” with stuff online. I didn’t realise the kind of background low level anxiety this is/was causing.
- I read the first few chapters of one of the nutrition books – the most I’ve read a paper book in one day for possibly a couple of years. I love books.
- The time I had with the kids was more focused on them – I wasn’t checking my phone in passing, as I often do, then getting distracted from them.
- My MacBook and iPad were pretty much out of sight in the bedroom. I left my phone there most of the time too. Again, out of sight is out of mind, I find it easier to remove temptation entirely than try to control it.
I liked the break so much I’m considering doing a day in the middle of week too.
But first I’m going to stick with Sundays Unplugged for a few weeks and see how this goes.
Overall I feel this is something that’s going to shift the balance of my life back to more important things, and cut down the often incessant – and usually unnecessary – checking. How do we get like this?
I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes. But just not on a Sunday.
Do you ever try unplugging or abstaining from anything for a part of the week? How did it work out?
Please let us know in the comments below.
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