Unplug Yourself

We’re plugged in 24 hours a day now. We’re all part of one big machine, whether we are conscious of that or not. And if we can’t unplug from that machine, eventually we’re going to become mindless.
~ Alan Lightman

The laptop on your desk, the netbook by your bedside, the smartphone that’s never very far from your reach … these are powerful and, dare I say, essential tools for the typical businessperson. It’s obvious they help us stay on top of important stuff. Without them, how could we get as much done as we do?

I mean, these tools do for the white-collar crowd what assembly lines did for factory productivity, right?

Mmmmmm … well, maybe not so much.

The truth is that being connected – all the time – means we make ourselves available. All. The. Time. These constant interruptions get in the way of getting stuff done.

There was a time when ‘interruption’ meant an unexpected phone call or visitor. Mail was delivered only once daily. Now office workers are continually barraged with email, instant messages, texts, [Smartphone] traffic, blog updates, news feeds, tweets, websites with enticing links and calendar reminders – and the phone still rings, people still drop by and paper mail is still delivered.
~ Lamont Wood

Whew! That’s a lot of interrupting going on all day long.

Do you have ANY idea how costly these interruptions are to your time and productivity? Well, let me tell you …




Elephantine, even.

So, assuming that technology isn’t going to go away anytime soon, and I think it’s safe to say we can look forward to even more cool gadgets coming our way – how on earth are we going to get some work done?

The answer is simple.

Unplug. From everything technological.


Yes, you heard me! Don’t you stop reading – you’re committed now.

Unplug for a short period of time. Just for one (that’s singular) eensy teensy little ol’ hour a day. Minimum.

No email.

No texts.

No internet.

No interruptions.

Imagine the possibilities!

You’ll actually get some great stuff done, and quite possibly avoid some ‘fires’ down the road.

You know, the stuff that if you had spent a bit of time in advance taking care of it then it wouldn’t be breathing down your neck now, so you have to put off doing something in advance now that would avoid another fire down the road so that you can take care of putting out this current fire right now.

Just sayin’.

Plan for this unplugged time deliberately. Choose a time of day when you are at your most mentally alert. Schedule it in your calendar as an important appointment – and keep it.

Now, I know you’re smart enough to shut off all those dings, rings, and vibrations that so helpfully let you know that someone out there has just sent you something, right? It’s tempting to quickly check … you know … just in case it’s something really important.

DON’T DO IT! Turn off all those alerts.

Do what you can to ensure the interruptions are eliminated before you hunker down to work.

Honestly, it’s just for a short period of time. Nothing horrible will happen if you don’t respond immediately. I promise.

I know you’re a busy person and you have important stuff that is demanding your attention and you probably feel as if you don’t have the time to schedule an hour for yourself.

Do it anyway. Your future self will thank you.

So, am I saying that technology is bad?


Of course not.

Uhmmmmmm … not really.

It’s just that once in a while it’s great to unplug and get some important stuff done.

How much stuff do you think you could get done, unplugged?

Unplug. Get stuff done.

Now, get on with your day!

PS … if you need help making time to unplug, check out my coaching services. I’m just a quick email away.

About Georgina Forrest

Georgina Forrest is a Productivity Coach & Organizing Specialist at Smartworks! Enterprises Inc. in Red Deer, Alberta. Her credentials include Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®), Organizer Coach, and membership with Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) where she has attained Gold Leaf status – a designation acknowledging her as an experienced professional organizer. Her specialties are geared toward increasing productivity, streamlining administration and decreasing stress in the workplace. She will teach you how to manage your time, space and information so you can be more effective and efficient at work. Additionally she offers training programs, productivity coaching and time management-related presentations.