Recently I wrote about one of my goals to be more present. Having technology free weekends once a month has been one way of accomplishing this. So many commented on that post that they didn’t know I how could do that and it seemed impossible. I can say from experience that it is not impossible! There was definitely a time before phones and data took up so much of our lives. I’ve appreciated how technology has enhanced my own – but there are certainly moments you need a break so today I’m offering a few things to do to have a successful technology free weekend!
First – set a time. My monthly technology free weekend starts Friday evening at the end of the work day and goes through Sunday night. Much of my blogging work and planning does happen on the weekends so when my technology free weekend comes up, I simply plan around it. I’ll respond to my Friday Five comments in the morning (or delay responding) and either have a post written and scheduled for Monday or defer posting to Tuesday. I do not feel guilty for missing a few blogging things because that is kind of the point! The weekend is to recharge me and bring me back to the present. If an entire weekend seems daunting to you, start by choosing one day. Either way, committing to a specific time frame is step one.
Second – Log out of all social media applications. This applies to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on every device – phone, laptop and tablet. Knowing I would have the extra step of logging in often lessens the temptation for me. Of all the positive things that have come out of my monthly tech free weekends – I have completely discontinued the use of sound and visual notifications on the phone for all apps. One, it’s annoying but two, I don’t need to see or hear every time I get a Twitter or Facebook notification. The only app I’ve kept a visual notification for is Instagram.
Third – Have a plan for emergencies. I do not want to give the impression my technology free weekends include not having my phone accessible at all. The laptop and tablet are completely off limits however the phone is generally on, sits on the opposite side of the room when home and can only be used for it’s intended purpose – to talk! 🙂 It’s important for me to remain accessible to friends and family in case of emergency. I usually give people closest to me a heads up about my inaccessibility so this tends to be a non-issue but have an emergency plan that feels comfortable to you.
Note: I do not actively or intentionally text during these weekends unless it’s a message from my mom 🙂 and in that case I pick up the phone and call her. Recognize it’s not about punishing yourself, but supporting being present in the moment and focusing on real communication.
Fourth – Get out of the house! My technology free weekends is when I relish in making plans with friends – another reason to have the phone accessible – taking walks, visiting new to me places, or just getting my errands and to do list done. I also be sure to get in some quality workouts and end the weekend with Yoga!
As I mentioned, going technology free for a few days shouldn’t feel like a punishment or a chore. One thing I’ve learned is the world will not end because I couldn’t Google something on Saturday or check my Twitter feed. There is something freeing about not relying on your “smart” phone to have an enjoyable day or weekend and think of all the wonder you may notice that you hadn’t before!
Have you ever had a technology free day or weekend? Why or why not?