This blog, and top tips, are written in haste after a new experience that left me with some serious learning and reason to reflect. I’m staying in London this week in a fab little flat I found on Airbnb. It’s a busy week – work and, yes, it’s the Christmas party season – and in haste I forgot my chargers last night but didn’t worry as I had power. But during the night the power ran out on both lap top and phone meaning I woke up when I woke up and couldn’t call or text Sam who I was meeting for breakfast as I didn’t have her number anywhere but on ‘the cloud’, so even the pay phone was no use to me. The clock on the oven was blinking 12.00 and there was no media of any kind to switch on and listen to give me even a hint of the time.
So here are my top tips to survive being ‘unplugged’:
- Wear a watch
I stopped wearing mine like many others and depend on my phone.
- Get yourself a little black book
… and make sure you have your important contacts in there in black and white. You never know when you might need them.
- Plan ahead
We get used to being able to text and arrange things last minute thanks to social media, which is great, but maybe being forced to assume you can’t makes you plan with more care and it’s more polite too. If I had done that, I would have known where I was meeting the lovely Sam for breakfast and I might have made it (assuming I would have had a watch too).
- Buy a paper and read it
I saw things I had forgotten this morning and I actually thought about what I was reading – it inspired some big ideas and some reflection too.
- Buy a lovely pen
… so you can enjoy writing your reflections. Different things flow from pen and ink.
Reflections and things I saw as a result
- Get off the cloud and come down to earth a little more often. Being truly connected means you have to be both virtual and real. This morning brought ‘real’ in to sharp focus for me.
- I saw new things in the same place. As I wandered down Bermondsey Street, I saw new places, people and the joy of looking up and ahead. I felt more energised.
- I listened and got talking. I had breakfast in the Garrison and revelled in listening to the conversations around me (after I had checked the time) and got chatting to the lovely French Giselle who told me about a great local hot yoga class.
- I felt the itch, but it didn’t last. At first, sitting still with no screen I felt a little odd. Will people look at me and wonder why I’m not busy? Am I a sad loser or just a real person?
- I remembered different things without the stimulus of a diary, texts and calls. I thought – really thought. I remembered some things that were really very important which led to a decision I had been waiting to make and what I think is a big idea. The end result is that I have a plan for 2015. So watch this space.
Happy days. Unplugged and reconnected.