Okay you guys, tonight begins one of the absolute most difficult (for me!) yet most rewarding days of the year. It’s the National Day of Unplugging! That’s right—a whole day of putting your phone down…shocking, huh?! From sundown tonight ’til sundown tomorrow night, it’s 24 hours of disconnecting from our digital devices to connect with what is and should be MOST important to us.
Honestly, just thinking about unplugging gives me a little (okay, a LOT of) anxiety since I’m on my phone many hours each day. That little device makes it so easy to manage my businesses, manage details of our family and household, connect with my peeps and, let’s be honest, update my Instagram. Anyone relate?! If you stop and think about it, we probably don’t even realize how much time we spend looking at those small screens. At first, I was going to totally ignore this day of no handheld tech since it seems like SUCH a stretch to make it through a WHOLE day! But since it’s on a weekend, I thought, “Why the heck not?” I thrive on competition (no surprise there!), so I am accepting this challenge and am ALL IN, ALL DAY!
Want to join me? Please? It will be FUN, I promise! And it will be REWARDING!
Sharpening the saw…
Imagine using a saw blade over and over, day after day, cutting through wood and hard materials. The saw is working constantly to make a precise, clean cut, time after time. This saw blade, however, has to be removed from the saw, sharpened, then put back on the saw to be able to perform its function well again! Dull blades don’t cut sharp lines and don’t do any good—in fact, they can cause more HARM than good! Our lives are just like this saw blade. If we don’t pause, recharge, and resharpen, we cannot fully function and be the BEST version of ourselves possible. We become run-down, lackluster, and exhausted. We get easily frustrated, make mistakes, and our actions don’t reflect who we REALLY are. Unplugging is all about resharpening our saw and getting back to our FULL way of functioning as our true selves!
The numbers don’t lie…
If you’re not sure whether or not unplugging is for you, let me share a couple of stats with you that may change your mind:
- Americans check their phones an average of 80 times a day. EIGHTY! Is there anything else we do that many times a day?!
- People spend a lot of time on their phones…anywhere from almost 5 hours a day (Brazil) to 2 ½ hours a day (USA) to 1 ½ hours a day (France) on their phones.
Yikes. Those numbers are staggering! Remember they are just averages, too, so many people are spending MUCH more time than that…I know I probably bring that 80 times per day average up too.
It’s a LOVE/HATE relationship…
I paused and did a reality check and came to the conclusion that I truly have a love-hate relationship with my phone. I LOVE the access it gives me to my team for quick questions and answers. I love that I can check in and get an immediate response, which enables me to accomplish a LOT. Being able to connect with my team is HUGE when you’re trying to transform the world! I also LOVE that I can see pictures and videos of my kids when I can’t be there in person with them. There are so many reasons my phone helps me balance all my different roles that it’s hard to imagine life without it.
But, on the other hand, I need to be honest with myself about my phone…I also use my phone A LOT for “recreational” use. (Almost sounds like a drug addiction, right? This “addiction” likely isn’t too far off base!) I definitely spend more time than necessary or intended scrolling down Instagram or Pinterest. I love memes and funny cat videos just as much as the next girl! These are the times I HATE my phone! I get sidetracked from my goals and spend more time on it than I really want or should, wasting time I really don’t have!
One of the most common excuses we hear from people who aren’t achieving their goals is that they don’t have the time. I know this can be true sometimes, but if we are REALLY honest with ourselves, how much time are we spending on our phones scrolling through social media, reading People.com, or shopping online? And why is this? Isn’t this amazing technology supposed to FREE us up to be able to do more of the things we want to do? Ironic, isn’t it?
Let’s stop and reflect…
Why do we find it SO difficult to put our phones down…even for just a few minutes?
Why do we turn to scrolling through our phones when we finally have a few free minutes instead of having a conversation or just sitting in silence?
Why do we ALWAYS see people sitting together at a restaurant, scrolling through their phones, paying no attention to each other?
Why do we often spend so much of our precious time on our phones instead of with our most precious people? What does this say about the value we put on the people around us?
What is it about unplugging that makes us so nervous? Fear of missing out?
We all need to answer these questions for ourselves. Just think about all of the amazing things we could accomplish—a few minutes at a time—if we WOULD actually put down our phones…pretty amazing, huh?
So, how do I sharpen the saw?
If you’re interested in joining me in unplugging for the next 24 hours, here are my four top tips to sharpen your saw and refill your cup:
- Earn your recreational screen time. We do this with our kids, and it works like a charm! So…after you do 10 burpees, you get 10 minutes of screen time. Or after you clean the bathroom, you get 10 minutes of screen time. Or after you do _____ (that thing you’re really dreading), you get 20 minutes of screen time.
- Make a list right now of how you’ll spend your unplugged time. Be proactive!
- Start small. Promise to unplug for FIVE MINUTES to start with. Anyone can do anything for five minutes!
- Get the fam and friends on board with you! Think of all the fun you can have—together!
Unplug from digital, and plug IN to your life!
Now that your hands are free from your phone, here are some ideas of things to do during your unplugged time:
- Read a paper book.
- Play a game with the fam!
- Just sit and do nothing.
- Take a walk.
- Write in a journal.
- Work on a goal.
- Plan for a new goal—don’t forget to make it SMART!
- Get in quick workout!
- Plan your meals for the week.
- Do some meal prep.
- Bake with your littles.
- Talk to someone you love.
- Do a Random Act of Kindness for someone.
- Write a note to someone. Like with pen and paper.
- Take a quick nap. Sleep is important!
- Do some stretching.
- Do something to show one of your kiddos how much you love them!
- Take a bubble bath.
- Declutter something that’s been bugging you.
- Sit and snuggle with someone you love.
Being a present parent…
Now, for all of us parents, let’s take a few moments this weekend and press pause. Let’s put our phones down and hug our babies. Let’s play with them. Let’s let them play with us. Let’s laugh with them and let them have our FULL attention for a moment—even better yet, for more than a moment! Let’s actually BE with them. Because our children’s lives are made up of memories from little moments just like these. And these little people we get to have in our lives so much now will grow up so quickly and start living there own lives somewhere else.
Are you with me??? Yay! And I want to know how you’re unplugging, so after you’re done unplugging, share what you did on social and use the hashtag #ImUnpluggingwithHeidi. Let’s start a movement that will last way beyond sundown on March 10th! Have a relaxing weekend. I’m so proud of you already for making memories in REAL LIFE with the people that matter most.
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