Editors note: The following is a guest post, contributed by Martin Wettergren. Founder of Mediapilot. Enjoys Food, wine, soc media, tennis, underwear and entrepreneurship!
A few years back I went to a networking event with Founders Alliance in Stockholm. One of the sessions I signed up for was something called Life Planning hosted by an entrepreneur named Andreas Granstedt. At the time I was going through a tough personal time in my life, so this sounded like something that would suit me. This turned out to be a life changing hour for me as I later decided to follow up on this and write my own life plan. So what is a life plan? It’s the same thing as a business plan for your company but you translate it to yourself and your plan moving forward. Vision, short and long-term goals, values – you set the plan yourself.
The first thing I started doing four years ago when I wrote my first life plan was to rate the state of my life divided into five different categories: family & friends, health, finances, work, and personal time. You can choose whatever categories you want but key is that they are constant so you can compare over time. It was very obvious what areas I needed to change in my daily life. Some of the categories I rated very high and others almost rock bottom. I started listing activities for the coming year that would help improve these areas and this resulted in a two page document that I have used as my personal life plan, which I update at least annually.
I won’t bore you with the details in my plan for 2014 but will focus on one area which is the challenge of living life in the present and not being connected to social media and other tech apps constantly. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t got the solution figured out and I’m not even sure what my goal should be, I just feel that being constantly connected is taking too much energy from me. Here’s a few of the activities I think will help me in my search for the right level of “unpluggedness”:
- As you can read on my blog, I am currently travelling around the world. This in itself has been amazing as most of the remote places in Southeast Asia do not have wifi. This led to some really inspiring disconnected time, which I will look to recreate back home. One of my most creative days during the trip was alone with pen and paper. Being a busy body, it always takes a while to get over the first boredom of not doing anything. But after an hour or so I started coming to peace with my thoughts and that’s when really creative thoughts came to me. Of course it helped being thousands of miles from home and no sign of internet, but I think the basic fact of just actively putting myself in this situation more often will help me free those inner thoughts that I sometimes struggle to bring out.
- I love to be inspired by others so I can copy/paste the ideas that I feel would suit me. For instance, I’m looking into a conference in San Francisco in February called Wisdom 2.0, which I think sounds amazing. For 2014, I plan to look up another event like this that brings up new topics within mindfulness, meditation and creative thinking.
- Speaking of meditation, I have done some yoga on my trip and it has been a real breath of fresh air to my soul. I play tennis a lot, which is super to relax the mind as well, but yoga is different as it’s not as physical and gives more room for other thoughts rather than focusing on the next shot. This is a big one for my life plan, but I have decided to sign up for a yoga class once a week. I will do this with my wife, thus getting more quality time together.
- On the same topic, but a bit more extreme, I am really curious to try Vipassana. I am still a beginner in yoga and meditation, but I want to practice this more. The ultimate test or experience is a 10 day Vipassana class. The schedule is extremely rigorous with no speaking allowed from 4am to 9pm. This may sound completely bananas to some, but don’t you want to take a look deep down inside yourself to see what’s in there. I do and I think this might be a good way.
- This fall I started scheduling time for myself but didn’t really carry it out full heartedly. This is something I want to do on a regular basis now. I will set aside two half days a month with time only for myself. Take a long walk, have breakfast by myself, read, etc. Anything that doesn’t include internet and other people.
These are just some of the ideas I have for 2014 onwards. But all input is welcome! How do you disconnect?