I just spent a wonderful but intense 48 hours in Corpus Christi at the TX State Autism Conference where I spoke to a room full of people about technology. Specifically the developmental integration of pre-literacy iPad Apps into treatment of social skills challenges. Parents and professionals in regular and special education came together to enjoy the various seminars, the beautiful bay and boardwalk, and the free, really fast WiFi offered at the conference venue….something many of us don’t even enjoy in our own homes!
Public speakers are an interesting species. We go through spurts of being “on” and being social in person with the people we meet or stand in front of presenting, juxtaposed with the time we are “off” either being social/ playing social media/Email catchup for those hours we were offline, or playing physical maintenance catchup and either working out to decompress and/or sleeping.
As a road warrior this month of October, I cherish both my “on” and “off” times, and the chances I have to reboot my mind, body, and soul. How? By unplugging every weekend for 25 hours. It’s a part of my spiritual maintenance due to my faith (Sabbath) and upbringing. But it is also part of my psychic maintenance as a sentient human being who needs to “unplug” from all the distractions and other voices I heed via technology and/or social media. I thus take time for myself to catch up on my walks and my reading list.
In my last blogpost here I wrote why reading matters. I then saw that one of my early virtual mentors, for both entrepreneurship and all things Mac, Guy Kawasaki also posted why reading matters. On his very cool Alltop.com site last night, I found a cool infographic on the benefits of reading, which you can see here. Reading for fun, reading actual books, and reading fiction is actually a great way to unplug and recharge those mental batteries to get creative juices and innovative thinking to flow; two necessary traits for successful entrepreneurs.
This week in The Huffington Post, I also wrote an article on why running matters. I am a beginner when it comes to running, but I am an avid walker. I wrote about 3 entrepreneurial lessons, especially for women, which I learned from catching the tail end of the Chicago Marathon last Sunday. I enjoyed meeting people from all over, the great weather, and finally visiting Cloud Gate in Millennium Park and getting to see “The Bean”, up close in person! Working out, especially walking and/or running, viewing something new and original that speaks to you, and reconnecting with people in person, especially people in your “inner circle” are all great ways to unplug and rebuild the emotional attunement with yourself and with others. It can get somewhat fragmented during the fast paced, highly regimented, and increasingly technologically driven work week. Emotional attunement gets honed through quiet moments of recall and introspection, as well as fine-tuning the mind-body connection. It is important for entrepreneurs because it raises self awareness and their emotional IQ and ability to “read” people and woo clients, adjust The Hook, and make the sale, just to name a few.
It is therefore imperative, in my opinion, that entrepreneurs, (especially female startup founders who are truly awesome for juggling the work/family obligations so creatively) take time to unplug, especially over the weekend. Nurture your inner world a bit and return to the outer world refreshed and ready to tackle another work week….
Whether you are a runner or a reader, the same two rules apply:
1. Commit to it and see it through
2. Pace yourself to gain the full effects and benefits which are cumulative
So grab your sneakers and library card and enjoy unplugging y’all!