I Can’t Believe I Did It!

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I thought it was impossible!  I didn’t think I could do it!!  But I did!!!

For two weeks – that’s 14 full days – I totally unplugged.  That means no phone, no emails, no text, no social media.  The reason?  I was traveling in Italy on a vacation and I wanted to have some real time off.   

Before I left, several friends told me to just spend a couple of minutes every morning checking my messages, and I agree that I was tempted, but I knew that those “couple of minutes” would turn into hours.  So I made a conscious decision to unplug.  I didn’t take my laptop or iPad or iPhone with me.  Well actually, I did take my iPhone but only used it to take photos.

It wasn’t easy, though, and I would offer three suggestions if you should ever decide to do the same, even if it’s only for a day or two: 

1.    Prepare.  Before you pull that plug, contact everyone who might need you or your services and tell them you will not be available – then give them specific dates.  I strongly suggest that you say you are leaving one day earlier than you actually are because I guarantee that everyone will want to talk to you as you are ready to walk out the door. 

2.       Don’t be tempted.  Make your decision and stick to it.  As I walked out my hotel room in Venice, there in the hallway was a computer set up for guests to use.  At first I thought: “Oh, what difference will one hour make.”  Then I walked past that computer, headed to the local coffee shop and sipped a cappuccino while chatting with other travelers.  A much better option!

3.       Never doubt yourself.  Once you return home to hundreds of emails waiting for you and more messages on social media than you can handle, it’s easy to ask yourself: “Was it worth it?”  And the answer is YES.  Every time you look at your photos you will remember why it was the best decision you could have made.

You know, I may never be in Italy again.  I can always catch up on Facebook and all my other messages once I return.  Just take a look at the photo I posted on this blog. It was much better to experience my own adventure than to read about others.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
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Can You Unplug???

Personal Development-Positive Attitude-Professional Speaker

Seriously! I’d really like to know. Can you totally unplug from your cell phone to social media and everything in between?

That’s what I just did for five full days as I decided to take a very short and very needed “time out”.

And that’s exactly why this blog post is two days late. It is my first of 56 blogs that did not post on a Tuesday and it was a conscious decision.

I have to tell you that it was one of the most stressful things I have ever done! The thought of disappointing my readers, missing that important email, or ignoring that text drove me crazy for the first day or so.

Then I was finally able to take a deep breath and realize that the world wasn’t going to fall apart. I would survive!

I have to admit – once I settled in and got used to the idea of being unplugged, I really enjoyed myself. Being in the present with no dings, no buzzes and no rings was quite refreshing. I got to truly experience what was right in front of me without worrying about what needed to be done next.

I traveled to New Orleans for a few days of fun. I had an opportunity to tour the facility where most of the floats are made for Mardi Gras. As I saw everyone around me with their heads buried in their phones, I smiled at the fact that I wasn’t even carrying mine! That’s right, I left my phone in the room, and now I could enjoy all the sights and sounds and smells around me. How liberating!

And now, as I head home, panic sets in once again. How many emails will be waiting for me? How many texts need to be answered? How early do I need to get up to post this blog?

So once again I take that deep breath and decide to enjoy my last few moments of independence from my gadgets. The world will survive!

Categories: Personal Development Positive Thinking Professional Development
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