My two weeks in Nepal were full of inspiration, with some important lessons learnt and many beliefs reinforced. Through this series of blog posts, I am sharing some of those thoughts and hoping to inspire some of my readers.
There are many things that we take for granted in life. When you are up in the mountains or in villages, a network on your phone is a privilege and Internet access a luxury. Imagine waking up in the morning completely offline, with no emails, messages or FB to check. And going through the day, using just the camera function on your phone. Once I accepted the reality, I began to see the beauty of the situation and the many benefits of disconnecting, unplugging and being offline:
- Connection. I was better connected to everything and everyone around me. I was able to better appreciate the beauty of the nature; I was more aware of the presence of other human beings and the opportunity to talk to them, listen to them and learn from them.
- Inner voice. By ceasing the flow of information and news, and other people’s opinions and updates, I was more in tune with my inner voice. I became more aware of my own thoughts and feelings. I even found solutions to some of my problems, within myself, due to the clarity and focus.
- Mono-tasking. The increasingly unusual state of doing just one thing at a time. I was reminded of the pleasures in simple things when done with mindfulness – a sip of coffee, a hot shower, breathing with awareness, a bite of wholesome food, an eye contact, a smile, listening to someone with 100% attention!
I was still connecting to the Internet for an hour or so almost every evening after the trek. I was posting photos to Facebook, blogging my daily diary, and even uploading my daily 2-minute videos to YouTube whenever the connection was ‘good’. And I found that even my connected time was so much more productive and efficient due to the focus, and the awareness that I only had an hour or two to get everything done.
Since getting back from the trip, I have incorporated some of these ideas, yet again, into my life. I have switched off many ‘push’ notifications on my phone, so I can better control the flow of information. I have again started doing emails in blocks of an hour, 2-3 times a day. I have again limited my social media time to the bare minimum, and only twice a day. I have again started switching off my phone after 7pm. It’s only been a week, but it’s working out so well then I’m unlikely to go back to the old habits.
What do you think about disconnecting, unplugging and going offline for scheduled periods of time every day? How will that affect your productivity at work and the quality of your time with yourself, friends and family?