How To Unplug From A Chaotic Life Without Feeling Guilty

Whenever I am speaking with someone, I will ask them, “How are things with you?” The most common response I get is, “I am so busy” or “I have been so busy lately.”

Hey, I even say that myself at times, when I am asked how things are with me. Although we have so many wonderful new technology that is meant to make our lives easier, the truth is we are getting busier and busier.

Being on-the-go or being accessible all the time is very dangerous to our health. It can impact not just our life in adverse ways, but also affect the lives of those we care about the most.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In a previous post, I shared a personal story of how working too hard affected my physically and the surprising revelation I had. The question that must be asked is, “Why are we unable to unplug from our day-to-day demands?”

Here are some reasons why I think that’s the case in our ever-increasingly busy lives.

  1. We’re easily accessible today. Technology has changed how we communicate today. We are easily contactable via our smart devices (phones, tablets) and computers. That means we cannot get away unless we consciously choose to do so.
  2. It’s harder to get the right people’s attention. This is especially true if you’re a business owner today. We’re constantly bombarded with messages fighting for our attention and it seems like the only way we can continue to be relevant is to be constantly in front of our potential customers. This demands more of our time to create the right messages, at the right time.
  3. We don’t know when to stop working. This is a constant struggle for work-from-home entrepreneurs. As we want to stay on top of things, it is very tempting to continue working throughout the day and well into the night. The pressure to get things done is often self created and can have some serious long-term implications.

If these are some reasons why we find it difficult to unplug, what can we do differently so that we reduce the amount of stress we generate, and also eliminate any unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves to perform and get things done?

Here are three options to consider which will make it easier to unplug on a regular basis and help us stay fresh and motivated.

  1. Design your ideal week. Unless we know what we are working towards creating, it will be very easy for unimportant activities to take our attention and efforts. This is where we can have clearly defined priorities, categorised into different buckets, such as health and well-being, family time, work time, errands, and relaxation time.

    While having our ideal week may not be a reality for us right now, it gives us something to aim for. This is where taking time out is going to be extremely vital for our overall well-being.

  2. Schedule mini getaways. One technique for ensuring we unplug is to schedule a getaway every 90 days. It can be as simple as having a break from all work and home activities for 2-4 days. Something that will make it even more beneficial is to get away from our normal environment. That means going away for home for a short break. It is also important to remember that there should be no work activities carried out during this getaway.
  3. Start taking less things on. We cannot continue to take on more things without eliminating some things. That means not taking on new projects without first clearing the projects we currently have. This is where we have to be disciplined and stick to our decision of doing less things. The aim should always be not to do more, but to do what we are doing with a lot more ease and less stress.

Just as we require sleep every night to recharge and renew, we also must take regular breaks from our daily activities. If we don’t intentionally do this, we will not function as best as we could plus it can affect our health and well-being. If we make unplugging from our chaotic lives a regular practice, we will be more efficient and effective, plus will experience a lot less stress in life. The choice is really ours.

Action Step: Ask yourself, “When was the last time I took a break from everything in my life?” If you haven’t had one in the last six months, take out your calendar and schedule a mini getaway within the next 90 days.

Question: What do you do to unplug from your busy life? What have you found to work well with you?

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  • Jane Ransom

    Excellent reminder, Neel! I’m getting good at saying No to people and at ignoring many emails and even texts. People don’t mind nearly as much as we imagine they might.

    • Neel Raman

      That’s great Jane! You are so correct – people will get over it if they don’t hear back from us instantly. Taking care of ourselves is almost always tour top priority. Thanks for sharing your views.