How to Unplug


How to Unplug

"People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself." 

- Marcus Aurelius

Top Tips

FIRSTLY: Know that YOU have the conscious capacity to CHOOSE actions that will unplug you. Nobody else is going to do this for you. JFDI.

SECONDLY: Commit to actively choosing actions that will enable you to UNPLUG - every day.

THIRDLY: Know that RECHARGING happens naturally. You don’t need to do anything (once unplugged!).

At Work

Practice the 100 second meditation
This practice can be summarised like this:

Breath 1 - Centering Breath: 6-2-7
Breath 2 - Declaration of unplugging
Breath 3 - Visualisation of being unplugged
Breath 4 - Sensing in the body the state of being unplugged
Breath 5 - Centering Breath: 6-2-7 (with the intention to take unplugging-related actions!)

Body awareness through emotional scanning
Brings your attention into the present and physical by focusing on the internal states and sensations of your body. Gets you out of anxiety, out of the past or future and into your feelings.
Build your sense of meaning, purpose and contribution to a larger story of the unfolding of life and why you are working
What part are you playing? 
Why is that part meaningful to you? 
What is your contribution to the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. It helps!

At Home

Diet, Rest, Exercise
These three are your foundation building blocks of achieving optimal states of relaxation, rejuvenation and vitality. Honour your body, honour yourself, LOVE yourself and commit to a health regime of good diet, quality rest and regular exercise.

Daily meditation practice
No questions, JFDI. Don’t give yourself any excuse for not incorporating a daily meditation practice into EVERY SINGLE DAY. Keep your commitment tiny (so small you can’t NOT do it! - remember my minimum daily commitment??). Keep it simple: Focus on your breath for 10 mins. That is it.

iPhone Garage!
Again, simple but not easy to do. Give yourself a designated iPhone garage at home; a kitchen draw, shoe box, shelf or vase. Then, when you finish work and social media responsibilities for the day PUT YOUR PHONE IN IT’S GARAGE AND NEVER EVER EVER GET IT OUT BEFORE THE MORNING! Give yourself at least 30mins after waking before you’re on your phone. If possible an hour.


A Loving and Powerful No! 
Boundaries are good. Really good. They demonstrate love; love for yourself and love for your colleagues. You respect yourself through loving and powerful boundaries. Create them and stick to them.

Emailing; expectations v. agreements
Our lives can be overtaken by ridiculous email expectations. Choose to create these expectations as verbalised or written agreements. Make sure you’re happy with the agreements. (E.g. rather than an unspoken expectation or your assumption of your boss that they require an IMMEDIATE response to emails - make an agreement of how soon you need to respond)

Importance of Deep Work
You will create more value, more impact, more meaningful work and far more satisfaction if you give yourself (and your organisation) opportunities for you to work deeply. This means creating elongated and undisturbable stretches of time where you can bring your full creative focus to one task.

Arianna Huffington

On the importance of meditation, balance and sleep, and why you shouldn’t charge your iPhone in your bedroom. Click here to read.


Recommended Read

Deep Work by Cal Newport explores the rules for focused success in a distracted world

For more inspiration from Chris, including how to craft a morning routine that includes yoga and meditation, click here

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Chris Hardy