In my last article “Disconnect to reconnect” I spoke on how is the process to be able to break the frantic dynamic that prevents us from giving our best version and enjoy doing things. Now I would like to suggest some ways to know how to disconnect.
We said that the disconnection process to reconnect consists on a three-phase process:
- Clean and empty to recover lost energy
- Explore new paradigms
- Fill with new habits and resources
Getting to do these three things requires not only a lot of personal commitment, but also to follow a strategy and planning very well defined and more important, more progressive.
If we have reached patterns of frenetic rhythms has not been by chance. On the contrary, our current habits have been the result of a way of understanding our environment and our relationship and contribution with it. And this has been caused by a series of experiences that have made us think that these patterns of action are the best to be able to get what we want in our personal or professional life.
But the problem is that often we do not get what we want nor, by doing so, we feel happy. That is why we realize that we have to change the way we act.
How to disconnect in our life
In order to begin to question and challenge our current frenetic habits that prevent us from living a full and sustainable life we can try to follow a few steps in a progressive way:
Step 1: Initial Level
To begin with, it is necessary to educate ourselves to follow productive schedules that include spaces of disconnection. Technology, our competitive environment, and even our vocation, make us work in any environment and at every moment, even for answering emails or making calls.
Very often we think that by having a position of responsibility in the organization we are obliged to be always available and to respond quickly to everything that happens.
We have become accustomed to sending and receiving mails outside of business hours, and even during the weekend.
At this initial disconnection level it is advisable to do the following:
- Reserve a daily space to disconnect from work, and it’s not just the time to get home for dinner. It’s about leaving at an hour that allows us to do some activity (sport, go to get children to their extracurricular activities, read, walk, take something with some friends, etc.). And when we do it, it is important not falling into the temptation to look at the mails or professional messages on our phone.
- Book weekends for extra-professional activities. Often, we take time from family, friends and from ourselves over the weekend to be able to organize our work agenda, or to be able to advance in pending professional issues. The problem is that we are never going to catch up, so why punish us so much by taking away our well-deserved rest time? Whenever we spend our weekend time doing professional things (no matter how much we like what we do), we are stopping ourselves to start a new week with renewed and fresh energy, and with a reconnected vision.
Step 2: Intermediate Level
If we have been able to include habits from step 1, although from time to time we can give some exceptions, we will be able to do something more to disconnect and thus be able to regenerate ourselves on a personal and professional level.
These are actions like the following:
- Set aside one day per quarter to be able to “get away” from our normal day-to-day life and simply do some nutritional activity. Examples of this is to go somewhere where nature invites us to walk and check how we are living our life, and to reflect about things where we are putting energy.
- Another way to disconnect and reconnect can also be to block one week a year to get away from the usual life and live “another life”. A professional development activity, a week of silence, or to live a physical adventure are very valid options. Making the journey to Santiago, staying a few days in a monastery, or opting for meditation retreats are some of the many options available to reset our mind and body.
Step 3: Advanced Level.
And if it is possible to dominate the two previous steps with some regularity and in a satisfactory way, so when it is already integrated in an easy and pleasant way, it is possible also to begin to try something more deep and personal as commitment.
An option is to block a long period during the year, or even a whole year, to discover a new way of feeding our being.
It is sabbatical periods that, although many do not believe it, are not reserved only for those who have money, but for the brave ones who decide to experience and try what they want to live according to their desires.
To stop a few months does not only mean in deciding to travel, although it is a very valid option, and there are more families that do it and with very tight budgets. In many cases these experiences end up in new opportunities to live more consistently with personal values.
But apart from this, stopping for a while also means dedicating oneself during a time to something else (dedicating to caring for a member of the family, training oneself, doing social volunteering, etc.) Everything is valid if it serves us to live our life in another way that by in doing so, make us to reconnect with the life itself and renew our energy and make us feel happier.
In any case, the last one is an advanced step. First, let’s focus on mastering and integrating the first of the three steps.
The reward is HUGE.