This post is painful to write. Mostly because I know what I planned to do and I’m a bit ashamed at my lack of willingness to do it.
I am addicted to information. Podcasts, live video streams, Fb feed, Periscope, Email newsletters. I love learning everything I can about what successful people are doing in their businesses. It’s a MAJOR distraction. And it’s becoming a problem.
See, always searching for what others are doing leads to massive “shiny object syndrome” and leads to inaction.
“I was going to do X but she’s doing Y and she has a great business. Maybe I should do that instead.”
“She does her to do list this way. I’m not doing it right.”
“They set up their budget on THAT program. I should try it.
It becomes an addiction. Checking Facebook groups. Downloading podcasts. Watching Periscopes. By searching for whatever is new, I’m letting others dictate what I do with my time. It’s like planning your day around email…but worse because videos take longer to watch and the distractions they cause can totally derail your plans.
This is where it gets painful. I originally wrote this post with the plane to conduct an experiment. For the month of July, I was going to do the unthinkable and delete Facebook from my phone. I know, the horror!!!
It was. I lasted 3 days.
Facebook has to be my worst addiction. It’s such a habit now that I don’t even realize that I’m doing it.
I walk by the phone and I can’t help but check it.
Waiting in line…CHECK.
Get in the car…CHECK!!
CHECK, CHECK CHECK!!!!
It’s summer and I really don’t want to be tethered to my phone. But in those 3 days, I was already feeling lost without being able to share things we were doing if I wanted to. My plan had been to only use Facebook at my computer. So if I wanted to share something, I had to go through the work of starting up the laptop, finding the photo that I wanted to share and try to avoid getting sucked into something else I “needed” to do on the computer.
My computer is the ultimate black hole of distraction for me. If I sit down to do a quick task at 8pm, I will be still there at 11pm. Every time.
How can you unplug more?
I’ve decided to divert from my “all or nothing” ways and work instead on creating more space for quiet, unplugged time. I’m turning off that podcast when my family is home so I can be present with them. I’m not checking Facebook when I’m sitting at the lake or in the evenings during our family time. I just went through a brutal unsubscribing binge to clear out my inbox.
I’m also being much more selective on what videos and podcasts I’m listening to. I’ve been feeling so scattered and overwhelmed by the influx of information yet feeling like I’m going to miss out if I don’t take it all in. I am predicting that I’ll get way more done by taking in LESS information.
What if I know everything that I need to know right now? What if, when I get stuck on something, I could just look up the information for that one thing then and do it?
This challenge was inspired by the book “Hands Free Mama – A Guide to putting down the phone, burning the to-do list, and letting go of perfection to grasp what really matters!” by Rachel Macy Stafford. I’m almost finished reading it and it struck a major chord with me and has inspired me to be more deliberate with unplugging and being present so I don’t miss out on what really matters.
How are you going to unplug more this summer? Please share in the comments.