I just shut down my browser windows – and now it’s just me and a word-processing document, staring at each other. Hmm.
It’s awfully lonely here on my computer. Maybe I’ll just read one more blog. Doh! (Distracted again!)
Some days I find that I’m either listening to podcasts on my iPod, on the phone with a friend, talking to my children, checking my phone for e-mail, tweets and texts, browsing my favorite blogs, commenting and tweeting…and when I start feeling really fragmented, I realize that I need to stop.
Stop for just one minute.
These are all good things – but I’m trying to do too much.
Have you been there before?
Multi-tasking and being connected via technology are important – vital, even. As a mom who works at home and has two young children, I am thankful for being connected to some amazing online communities. But am I managing my connectedness – or is it managing me?
When I’m working, writing, I try to disconnect from everything distracting and keep things quiet, both literally and mentally. If I listen to music, I try only to listen to instrumental music – something soft and calm to help me streamline my thoughts. (I have a very wise friend named Kim who only writes to instrumental music – her favorite is jazz.) Classical music, and feeling centered, makes me a very happy writer.
How do you reach a state of happy focus?
I also try (try) to close down every program on my computer except for the document on which I am working. This means: no browsers (no blogs and no Twitter), no e-mail, no spreadsheets, no photo galleries, for too many of these good things lead me down what I call the “path of distraction.” This practice takes discipline.
But do you ever have days when quiet – or disconnecting - feels uncomfortable? I do. And when I do, it’s a wake-up call for me that I’ve been filling my ears with too many sounds, voices, chatter, and even tweets – and that I need to unplug completely. It’s as if being connected all the time becomes an addiction.
When I unplug, I’m able to hear my own voice. I’m able to remember my own thoughts. And feelings. My dislikes. What I agree with. What I think is amazing. And what I believe is lovely. I am returned to peace – because it’s quiet.
Unplugging becomes a spiritual experience that refills my cup – and places me where I need to be.
How do you unplug?