Suggestions for Unplugging Success

January 23, 2012

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Today is the second in a series of guest posts by Marysol Blomerus as she looks at unplugging as a way of balancing our lives. You can read more about Marysol, her lovely family, and her excellent reasons for unplugging on the first post in this series.

So you have your unplug night or day set in your calendar. A time to fully detox from the internet to get some rest and pull away. Here’s some things you need to know to make it a successful time. If you missed yesterday’s post on this, go read that first.

Before Unplugging

1) Consider having someone else join you.
Your spouse, your roommate, or your teenage son. Pick someone, especially if you live with them. Get them on board so you are not contending with temptation in your own home. If you live alone, accountability will save you from caving when you realize how addicted you might be.

2) Take care of the critical.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could abandon our inbox forever all in the name of balance? Its not going to happen. Realize that if you don’t take care of a few critical emails or things on your list beforehand, you might not be able to mentally unplug. Notice I didn’t say get your inbox down to zero, crossing off every to do list, and have the house spotless? Don’t set huge goals. You’re never going to feel “done enough” to fully rest. Don’t equate this with “earning” your right to rest.

3) Set up some boundaries.
Decide which technology is OK and what’s off-limits? If it’s all TV, Internet, phone but you can read on your Kindle, figure that out ahead of time. You need this or you will start to negotiate with yourself when you feel the urge to check Twitter on your phone, saying it “doesn’t count because I haven’t opened my laptop”.

During Unplugging

1) Physically remove the technology.
Put a sheet over the TV if it helps you. Close and store the laptop away. Ditto for the phone. You’ll be surprised how not seeing these access points creates separation.

2) Do something slow.
Play a board game. Read a book. Take a nap. Go a long walk. Journal to God. Make love with your spouse. Have a long conversation. Do something slow, unproductive, and uninterrupted. Feeling slightly bored, on-edge, or anxious might happen. Remind yourself that’s why you need this. Bounce it back up to God and ask Him to reveal more to you about his grace that’s available for your tired soul.

After Unplugging

1) Schedule another unplug time.
This can’t be a once-off thing in your life or you’re going to burn out. Consider how often this should be a part of your life. We’re currently doing one night a week and one weekend a month. That’s what works for the season of life we are in. Ask yourself what do you need in your season?

What other tips would you suggest to readers about to unplug? What did I miss? Also, if you are about to unplug or just did it, tell me about it. If you blogged about it, please share that link! 

Photo courtesy of rasdourian on Creative Commons by Flickr

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God