Schedule Unplugged Time

Week 2 Challenge(1)

Each Monday during this 31-day series, I’ll share a challenge related to becoming more intentional with technology.  I’ll be doing each of them and reporting back on my progress later in the week.  I hope some of you will join me!

The second challenge is to schedule unplugged time.  Some days, I spend too much time on my phone/laptop.  Not necessarily in terms of consecutive minutes, but 5 minutes here, 3 minutes there really adds up over time… not to mention the moments of attention that screens are stealing from my kids.  I need to be more disciplined in regularly carving out “unplugged” time – for my family, and for my own good.

In goal setting, I’ve found that I’m a lot more likely to actually follow through with something I want to do if I write it down – and actually scheduling it on my calendar (or even in my head) increases the likelihood of it happening that much more!

This challenge should be super quick and easy:

  1. Think about a time of day you would benefit from being unplugged.  This might be in order to focus your undivided attention on another task, to spend time with your kids or spouse, or simply to truly rest.
  2. Schedule it, and do it!  A week is a good starting goal.  If you’re visual, track your progress somewhere – planner, calendar, habit tracking app, etc.
  3. Reflect on how you feel at the end of your set time period.

I’ll share a quick story about how scheduling unplugged time has helped me to be more intentional with technology.  Since becoming a mom seven years ago, I found (begrudgingly, because I’m a night owl by nature) that my most productive, alert time is early in the mornings, before my kids wake up.  I’ve gone through seasons of doing better and worse of actually maximizing this time… but when I do make the intention to go to bed at a reasonable time and get up early, before my kids rather than to them, I’m a much, much better, nicer, calmer mom, wife, and person.  Even just taking a few moments to drink my coffee and spend a few moments with the Lord in the peace and quiet is transforming to my soul.  My husband can totally vouch for this, because I’m not a natural morning person. 😉

{Side note:  If a morning routine is something you’ve always wanted to start but really struggle with, you’re in good company!  This is SO hard for me, but also every bit worth the effort.  I’d encourage you to check out the Hello Mornings challenge and resources, if you’re interested in connecting with a super encouraging group of women who meet up online to study the Bible, pray for each other, and provide some grace-filled accountability.  I’ve done several challenges, and they have truly blessed me.}

For awhile, I was really intentional about not browsing my phone in the morning until after I’d met with the Lord for my quiet time and greeted my kids… but like many good habits, I slowly slipped off track.  The effects of checking email/Instagram vs. reading my Bible or praying in the morning are like night and day to my attitude.  Here’s an excellent article about some of the concerning effects of checking our phones in the morning.

So, last week, I vowed, once again, to be intentional about being unplugged first thing in the morning until I finished my quiet time and completed two chores – unloading/loading the dishwasher and starting a load of laundry.  The days I’ve stuck to this, the results on the state of my soul – and the state of my house – are notable!

When I was working full-time, I also had a similar goal of working for 25-minute increments without any phone/Internet distractions, and that worked really well for my productivity (more on that in another post).

As part of this challenge, I’d like to continue my morning unplugged goal and add a goal to unplug an hour before bed – a lot of nights, I’ll browse social media right before falling asleep, and I think my sleep and mind would benefit from logging off earlier.  I’d like to replace that screen time with reading (a real book or on Kindle) before bed.

Do you regularly schedule time unplugged?  Want to try it for a week?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!



4 thoughts on “Schedule Unplugged Time

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