Unplug – Take the Digital Detox Challenge

 In For Leaders, Letting Go, Mindfulness, Reclaiming Joy, Tools & Resources

“The thing I’m most looking forward to about this trip,” Brock said, “is unplugging from the office for two weeks. I’ve never done that before.”

Brock is a successful CEO. Along with his wife and three children, he is journeying to the Amazon Rainforest. I am co-leading the trip, which begins this week and lasts for 12 days. The journey is organized by The Pachamama Alliance, an Non-Government Organization (NGO) that has successfully partnered with indigenous peoples of the Amazon to support the continued stewardship of their territories.

Brock is a member of the YPO (Young President’s Organization). Several of his colleagues are coming together on this transformational journey for a leadership immersion experience and adventure. They also seek to rest, awaken to new ways of living and re-calibrate to nature’s rhythms.

The Amazon Rainforest is the most bio-diverse place on the planet and there is no better environment for relaxation. I am fortunate to be on my fourth visit to this pristine location where the presence of nature delights and touches me. On past visits, I have been awed by the sight of blue morpho butterflies as big as a lumberjack’s hand and serenaded by the symphony of howler monkeys and toucans. On this trip, pink dolphins might appear if we’re lucky.

When you’re in the Amazon, you have little choice but to unplug. There is Wi-Fi at the beautiful Kapawi Lodge where we will stay, but it’s in a remote part of the jungle, reachable only by small airplanes and river canoes. A rainstorm can scramble connectivity. Brock has embraced our recommendation to unplug and not create expectations that could be shattered by afternoon thunder.

Brock will not regret his decision. I too will unplug, as I did the first time I visited eleven years ago. It requires letting go of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but a secular sabbatical is restorative and wise. With advance planning and good communication with those you work with, you can relax and fall in to the digital detox. (My assistant, Crissa, is watching over my business affairs while I am away. This gives me great comfort and is how I can unplug without anxiety.) Everyone I work with (clients and colleagues) knows I am out-of-pocket and respects the choice.

A recent article in Fast Company provides a nine-point checklist for How To Disappear. It tells the inspiring story of Baratunde Thurston who decided to unplug for 25 days.

At the recommendation of Priya Parker, he had “I am here” days and discovered how to be “thickly in one place, not thinly everywhere.” Check it out and consider fully unplugging on your next vacation, or any given Sunday.

I welcome your comments and or questions about this post here on Facebook.

  • Carola Barton

    Saturday my husband and I went out to do a bunch of errands and both of us forgot our phones – I suggested we go home to get them as we frequently find each other in stores by texting or calling, but he said no, let’s do it differently. We did – it worked out better than ever, and when we got home I had no desire to check e-mail and such – I didn’t look until the next day and it felt wonderful. It felt like a mini-vacation and I’m going to do it more often!