Disconnecting for the good…


Disconnecting.   When is the last time you really disconnected?  Certainly, over the last several months we all have experienced different levels of being disconnected, but for the most part we are very much still connected.   If you are reading this, you’re connected.

We all recognize the power of leveraging technology in our businesses and daily lives.  More than ever, we have become dependent on reliable internet and cell connections and the ability they provide us to work remotely.  It is almost hard to imagine not being able to ask Siri or Google a question and get an immediate answer, even if the answer makes no sense at all.

Recently we spent some time with family at a mountain location that is known for having limited cell coverage and internet options.  We’ve been there before, so we knew what to expect.  But this year with so many people seeking options to “social distance” for a summer vacation, it is easy to overload limited cell towers in remote areas. 

Also, there was no Cable and our external TV antenna needed a new mounting bracket that didn’t arrive until the last couple days of our stay.  It wasn’t necessarily planned, but often the circumstances had us disconnected.  There were many times that at best, our smart phones were reduced to being just cameras, video recorders, and MP3 players.   Social media updates, news headlines, and texts got delayed; calls didn’t connect.

Though we were in a setting that provided for it, many of the activities we used to fill our “disconnected time” really do not require you to go anywhere.  It’s just the discipline to actually do it when you’re not being forced to.   With so much information constantly coming at us from our smart devices and other outside sources it is amazing how much better you start to feel when you turn it off for a while.  

If you’re wishing you could disconnect but don’t know where to start here are a few ideas that should help get you started.  Many of these filled some of our recent days when our smart phones were having a hard time connecting to the outside world.

Activities for Disconnecting….

Read a book –  Everyone in our group had at least one book.  Whether they are business books, novels, self-help, or other, a good book is a great way fill your time and expand your mind.

Go on walks or hikes – We walked daily.  When you’re not sitting in front of a screen it is amazing how easy it is to get in 10,000 steps a day.   You don’t have to be at a national park to get out and see nature; city sidewalks, neighborhood trails, and country roads all work too.

Take a leisure drive –  We took a number of drives.  One afternoon a couple of us took an extended drive and literally were turning in and out of every access road on our route.   When is the last time you took a road less traveled near your hometown just to do a little exploring?

S’more Time –  S’mores tend to be associated with camping and bonfires and the outdoors.  But all you need is some hot coals to have a S’more Party.   If you can do without any outside distractions, it is a great way to relax, have some laughs, and share some great conversation.

Play games – A family dog contributed to one of our favorite games, he had everyone trained to throw the ball when he drops it at your feet, and he would fetch it…way to go Ringo!  With a little creativity you can make just about anything a game.  And, there are always board games and puzzles for indoors.

What about you?  Have you ever been in a location where you felt somewhat disconnected from the outside world?   Did the environment raise or lower your stress level?  Do you regularly disconnect from the outside world for periods of time?  If you haven’t, give it a try.  We think you will be glad you did.

As always, we value your comments in the space below. 

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach