My wife and I just got back from a 10 day vacation in Paris, France with our 4 children. And I made a vow to her, to my kids and to myself that I will not go online during the entire vacation.
And I held true to my word (except for taking a peek at my email one time for 10 minutes on the 3rd day just to make sure there were no emergencies). But other than that, it was over a week of no Internet. No email. No facebook. No skype.
Let me tell you.. it was amazing.
Maybe you are thinking that is crazy. You could never spend 10 days being completely unplugged, but it was so refreshing…
I was able to TRULY enjoy being “present” with my family without feeling the impulse to glance at my iPhone. And my “mental batteries” are now fully recharged. I also never realized how often I would glance at my iPhone like a reflex (the first day I found myself just pickup up my phone for no reason.. then I simply put it down).
It’s hard to explain just how much clarity I had in regards to my business just be being disconnected. All I had was my handy-dandy composition notebook and a pen. And when my children went to sleep for the night, I started writing down all my ideas like a madman.
Copy. Hooks. New business models. Graphics.
You name it, the ideas couldn’t stop flowing even if I wanted them to.
Perhaps it was partly being inspired by the environment. The Eiffel Tower. Seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. A boat tour on the Senne. Seeing all the artists at Montmarte. And even spending 3 days in Disney Paris cleared my head while eating one too many ice creams.
I truly believe if you want to unlock your creativity and your innovation… you must take time away from the computer.
My biggest ideas, with companies like FounderFly, always come to me when I’m AWAY from my computer.
Hey, I understand not everyone is able to hop on a plane to Paris to get “inspired” – but you can take mini-breaks in your week.
If taking a week away from the computer is too scary of a thought for you.. then start small.
Schedule in a 3-hour block of time once a week. No computers. Turn off your cell phone.. heck, leave your cell phone at home and commit to unplug.
Go for a walk in a park.
Take a long drive.
Go explore a town or neighborhood you haven’t seen before. Walk into the local stores and start conversations with the merchants (I love doing this). I’ll ask questions like, “hey, how’s business treating you?”. You’d be surprised how much small business owners love to talk about their business.
And once you can handle the 3 hours being “offline”, work up to a full day once a week.
Then eventually, a full week of no Internet.
It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my family, for myself and yes.. even for my business.
Now it’s time for you to unplug, get inspired and change the world.
You with me?
COULD YOU GO A WEEK WITH NO INTERNET? COMMENT BELOW
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