The Best Gift for Your Loved One: Nothing
Do you often find it difficult to set your phone aside and leave the online world behind? Do you experience FOMO when you realize you’ve missed your favorite Instagrammer’s latest story? If so, then what I’m about to suggest may be unsettling. This Valentine’s Day, enjoy an offline day together. Set your phone down (after you’ve finished reading this post), turn on Do Not Disturb, and walk away.
What do you mean by 'Nothing'?
Each season, my husband and I create a list of fun activities that we can do together. We enjoy our list making almost as much as we do the activities on it, but the list is our go-to resource for date nights and weekend adventures together. My favorite item on the list has by far been: Enjoy an offline day at home. I promise it's possible.
Plan it out
Our lives are so busy with his work, teaching, choir practice, and friends/family ... along with my work, side hustle, nonprofit board, and friends/family that it took us two whole seasons to get this particular item on our calendar. This season was especially difficult while opening Haven, my coworking space in Columbus, Ohio. So I know a little something about how difficult it can be, and I promise you that it’s worth every minute. (He agrees, too.)
Our offline day required some prep work. Once scheduled, we both prioritize the day and as new events pop up, we stay true to our plans and turn down invitations. Saying ‘no’ can be incredibly difficult, but keep the faith that it’s worth it. Another item we had to take care of in advance is food for the day. Without our phones, we won’t be ordering in so our fridge has to be stocked. Lastly, any chores around the house have to be done at least the night before because we won’t want to waste the day on catching up on the dishes or laundry.
With all the prep work done, you’re probably wondering what on earth we do during our offline day. Without our phones interrupting our conversations and thoughts, we focus on one another. We are more in tune with one another as we talk, read, cook, and watch our favorite show. At the end of the day, you will feel as refreshed, relaxed and connected as we do. After our latest offline day, we awoke the following morning commenting that we want to add an offline day to each season’s list. And that’s the takeaway ... it really isn’t about what we actually DO, but what we don’t do. Staying offline, and unplugged, allowed us the space to prioritize our relationship and left room for peace and quiet to permeate our lives.
As an entrepreneur and marketer, I especially find it difficult to set the online world aside, but I’ve done it and I plan to do it over and over again. And, I know I’m on to something here. Go offline and let me know what you think; I think you’ll start having FOMO over being too connected. I think it’s the best gift we can give.