I’ve done two things twice this weekend that I can’t help but pass on to others.
I don’t want to harp on too much of what I’m learning in my CDSMP training (which I’m absolutely loving!) but I had to briefly touch on action plans. As teachers for this course, we’ll be helping a wide variety of people come up with weekly action plans for five weeks. To get plenty of practice, we’ve had to develop and carry out our own.
My action plan for this week (which actually resulted in a gasp from two people in the training — they don’t know yet that I’m an expert in creating goals) is to go technology-free for 30 minutes for 4 days this week. In part it was inspired by Lindsay’s technology-free day. Lately I’ve felt so inundated with by information, to-do lists, tasks, etc. that I wanted to be sure I was dedicating time to power down, quite literally.
It’s relatively easy for me to steer clear of my laptop, particularly during the week if I’ve spent all day on my computer at work. What’s harder is tuning out the phone and background noise. Technology-free means my phone is shut off, there’s no radio, iPod or Pandora playing music in the background and my laptop is nowhere to be found. All the things that would normally divert my attention are taken away, at least for those thirty minutes.
I admit it’s been a little harder than I thought – not going technology-free per say, but in planning when that 30-minute period is going to occur. Particularly when I’m trying to finalize plans or waiting to hear back from someone, I don’t want to go MIA for 30 minutes. But that just reinforces the importance of my goal. I don’t want to be at the beck and call of my phone or email. If I want to balance out my life and slow down so my brain isn’t so overwhelmed, I need to give it the break it deserves.
I’m also struggling in figuring out what counts and what doesn’t count as technology-free time. Does grocery shopping? Napping? I’ve steered clear from counting those as being technology-free, since the intent of the goal is to make sure I’m carving time out of my day to relax and not be distracted by technology. There’s a lot of wiggle room, though, but I’m making a valiant effort.
Speaking of activities and grocery shopping (it’s a really lame transition but it’s all I’ve got), last night for a group dinner I made a spinach, apple & pecan salad. Actually, it was more of a romaine lettuce, apple and walnut salad, but that’s just a technicality. I didn’t get a photo of it last night, but I did this evening when I made it again. That’s right – I made this salad again.
Normally I’m one to try a recipe then put it on the back-burner for months, if not forever. Not with this recipe. I was incredibly impressed with the dressing, primarily because I’ve never really used apple cider vinegar before and it adds the perfect blast of flavor to the salad.
I did alter the recipe a bit tonight in that I didn’t toast the walnuts, used a gala apple instead (though I don’t know that it makes a huge different) and I added a bit of feta cheese. The end result was equally delicious and it also meant I completed another day of balanced meals.
I can’t say I’m entirely ready to tackle the week with three long days of travel and two full days of training, but my focus on balance is already proving to be much-needed.