I Went Off the Grid and Survived
Posted on April 12, 2023 at 10:00 am | Strategic Planning
I Went Off the Grid and Survived
Yep…I did it. I’ve been off the grid for nine days and I’ll admit, it feels a little strange. I whipped into work this morning ready to roll (I thought) and realized I’d left my cell phone at home. Had to turn around and run back for that. Next, I struggled with setting my laptop up in the docking station. You see – my laptop has not been touched in nine days. Needless to say, I was a little rusty and my team members let me know they found it quite humorous. It was definitely a Monday kind of Monday.
There’s more and more evidence that we all need to take a “screen break” every now and then. I completely agree that we all need to “detox” from the large and small monitors in our lives and reclaim how to think without them. We need time to think and marinate on a topic without immediately Googling it or researching an idea. Having time to sit with our thoughts and ideas without a single email, phone call, text message or notification is essential. Don’t worry – the world will still go on, I promise. And I submit, you will probably be more thoughtful, creative, and in-tune with your surroundings by intentionally fasting from the digital monitors that have overcome our daily lives.
Just because I was off the grid while in Mexico this past week doesn’t mean I wasn’t productive. Quite the contrary. I created two new frameworks for strategic planning and an accelerated action plan and even crafted a poem depicting part of the origin story for my business. I did this all with nothing but pen and paper. Throughout the week, I scribbled over pieces of the work and refined ideas further as I was able to think about them more. I’ll even revisit all of this again before taking to the keyboard to type up my final versions. It felt refreshing changing up the process, and first starting with paper and uninterrupted space to really reflect and think about issues. How might I help clients who are having a particular problem? What framework, over-arching focus question, or scripted story could unlock the gridlock and help clients move past their blocks and move toward action? Because I had nine days of no phone calls, no emails, no reminders, and no internet to tell me what the answer was, I was forced to be creative. To come up with ideas and answers that work for MY clients, in OUR collective environment.
If you are stuck with an issue, I encourage you to take a day or two and unplug. No phone calls, no laptop, nothing…but you, some paper, some books (not work-related) and time. I’m sure it will feel downright weird at points, but it will be worth the effort and discomfort. You were created to be creative. You were called into your position at your organization for your perspective. What do you think? Don’t worry what 1,000 followers think or the latest peer-reviewed article says. What do you think and know? What do you want to test and explore? The most successful people always say there was a point where they had to trust their gut and instincts. What they personally knew and had learned. You can’t do that unless things are quiet enough to listen and hear.
Holly Hayes, President & Founder