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I disconnected from all technology for 9 days: Here’s what I learned

I didn’t have a crisis or issue that caused this time off but just thought it would be interesting to try.

March 01, 2023

I forced myself to unplug for 9 days over the holiday. 

Here are my two main takeaways from this time of disconnection:

Thinking Deeply Was Much Easier

No distractions meant my mind wandered more easily and I was able to be present instead of constantly wondering what was happening “out there.” I had a ton of ideas during this time of detachment but decided against even getting my journal out and writing them down. I wanted to force myself to be in a state of fallow. The result was that I didn’t feel the need to produce or progress, but rather just be present. Very liberating.

I Was Able to Truly Rest

No distractions. No interruptions. This was the ultimate benefit. Removing myself from the frenetic nature of always being on was greatly needed. It also showed me the dopamine hit my mind craves from constantly checking email, slack, social, etc. is not only unnecessary but also unhealthy. I’ve heard that we are too attached to our devices but forcing yourself to go dark highlights how embarrassingly attached I was.

My big takeaway is that I need to do this activity more. Maybe not for 9 days, but even for a few hours here and there throughout the week.

We don’t celebrate disconnection or rest enough in our society; rather, we celebrate always hustling, always-on, never stopping, always performing. This isn’t sustainable and leads to poor outcomes. The balance achieved by disconnecting allows you to rest, get clarity and perform at a higher rate when you actually truly need to work.

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