Disconnected down time

BY: Kiwitek

One thing MacGyver was a big advocate of was enjoying his “downtime” and using that time too, as he put it, “take the edge off”.

In this ever-increasing age of mobile connectedness where we can do everything online everywhere and at any time, it’s becoming very difficult to switch off during, what should be, relaxation or downtime. How many of you find yourselves checking email, Facebook, Twitter, news sites, etc. during work breaks, or in the evenings when you should be relaxing and unwinding? I know I do and I often do it without even thinking.  It’s just what we do now. We’re always connected and always “on”.

I was thinking earlier today about how long it’s been since I’ve been hiking or even biking. We’ve had some really nice sunny winter days which would be perfect for either activity yet I’ve been so focused online that I haven’t had any real downtime for 5-6 months and it starts to show in some pretty obvious ways too. Sleeping patterns become disrupted, moods and mental states change even blood pressure goes up and stays up because we’re in a constant state of alertness – thinking, pondering, worrying, planning with no reprieve from the stress it causes. A lot of us can’t even relax when we take a break, we still spend all the time looking at – or thinking about what’s on our phone.  You can go to any tourist attraction in the world right now and most of the people there will be looking at the screen of their phone – they’re not even taking in or enjoying what they’ve probably paid a lot of money to see – they’re thinking about their next Instagram post or how many likes their photo is getting.

SO how do we get around this? I read an article recently where a guy was spending 1 day per week disconnected. No phones, no computers, no internet, nothing.  Another way might be to set a time each night at which point phones, computers are switched off and that’s your unwind time before going to bed. Other ways can include things like having a “no devices at the table” rule for meals. This not only provides a break but if you have children it’s building healthy habits for them as well as promoting family time.  Or if you go out for a meal with friends or family have a designated phone carrier for emergencies and everyone else leaves their phones behind for the night.

Once you start looking for opportunities to disconnect you’ll be surprised how many there are in a day, and I would wager, quite staggered when you start to realize just how much attention that little device is taking from you.

I’d be interested in hearing your ideas for overcoming the constant state of “on”  in the comments section below.


MacGyvering Your Life is a regular series looking at ways we can incorporate aspects of MacGyer’s values, ethics, and mindset into our own lives. We encourage feedback and discussion via the comments section below and if you would like to contribute with your own article you can contact us here.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.