Many of us eat, sleep, and breathe technology. I’m no different, in fact, it’s my job to know the newest happenings in mobile and social media technology and then relate the practical applications to everyday busy professionals. However, while technology, used strategically, should make us more efficient, the overuse of technology makes us less effective. One of my favorite examples is when I ask attendees attending my workshops how they should connect with a desired LinkedIn contact when they know someone in common. The most common answer is to send a LinkedIn introduction request. It always amazes me that more people don’t suggest simply picking up the phone and calling the mutual friend. This is what happens when we don’t unplug from time to time to get centered.
It just so happens that I recently went on a twenty-four hour technology fast, cutting out items including computers, phones, televisions and radios. I uploaded the following cover photo on Facebook the night before my fast.
The purpose of a technology fast is to unplug long enough to have the opportunity to step back and assess what is and is not working for you, what amount of technology is necessary, and to even brainstorm new ideas. This will help you keep your online brand fresh and innovative.
Wondering what do to during your fast? These were the items on my agenda:
- Meditate and the Chung Tai Zen Center
- Enjoy a Reiki appointment
- Get a full body massage
- Eat at a healthy restaurant
- Rent a hotel room by the sea
When I came back I was refreshed, renewed, and ready to reconnect with greater purpose. In just twenty four hours I was able to see where I was devoting too much time to specific online activities while not enough to other relationship building action items. Also, I find that nature is an amazing source of inspiration for business and even branding ideas.
How often do you unplug? I suggest at least once a quarter. If that sounds too difficult to you start with once per year. For business purposes, I highly recommend you bring a journal. As you gain inspiration from nature and the people around you, you should record your thoughts on paper. No, that app won’t work, because you’re not supposed to have your phone—remember?
Share your stories of unplugging below and the wonderful results that happened as an effect.
Crystal Washington is a social media marketing strategist, speaker, co-founder of Socialtunities—a social media instruction brand that trains Gen Ys-Boomers on the strategic use of social media, and the author of The Social Media WHY: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business. She is hired by corporations and associations around the globe to provide keynotes, workshops, and webinars.