Creative LeadershipCreativity

What Did You Learn from Disconnecting?

If you participated in our 24-hour Father’s day “disconnect to reconnect,” I’d love to hear about your experience.  Is there anything you learned, or anything you experienced worth sharing?  I’ll start – here’s something I was reminded of:

How to listen to the world around me. Kathleen and I were in Milwaukee for a couple of days before Father’s Day, working with a terrific client, Time of Grace Ministries.  On Father’s Day, we stopped at Lake Geneva, while driving back to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.  Eating breakfast at Lake Geneva, I intentionally left my iPhone in the car.  The first thing I noticed?  The people around me. I heard the laughter of children at the next table, and a newlywed couple excited about the boating trip they were getting ready to take.

When I would normally be focused on my iPhone checking emails while waiting for breakfast to be delivered, I had a wonderful conversation with my wife, and became acutely aware of the sounds and the people around me.  People say that “life happens,” but I think far too often, we’re immersed in our mobile device, and just let it pass by.  Especially as a writer, I had neglected how important is is to be “in the moment” – intensely aware of the world around me.

Was disconnecting worth it?  Absolutely for me.  I have a deadline for my next book, so I think I’m disconnecting more often.  So if you call, email, or text me over the next few months, don’t be surprised if I don’t respond for awhile…

What did you learn?  Anybody get the shakes?

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  1. While I didn’t announce to the world that I was disconnecting, I did it the best I could. In fact, this morning I woke up and thought I should blog about what I learned, so I did. My blog is at but the most important thing I learned is that the world didn’t end because I was off my iPhone.

    Thanks for the suggestion to give it a try.

  2. I managed to disconnect from the t.v. and computer all day. Had to re-connect to the p.c. at the end of the day, around 7 or 8 pm to set up a new pc for the kids since it had gotten delivered at lunch time as part of a trade I made for it earlier in the week. We did spend the day together from morning church services to lunch after that and to the park after lunch. We just sat and talked almost all day and did not even get a single interruption from the phones that I can remember. 😉

  3. It was a good day to disconnect. In addition to Father’s Day and attending church together, it was also my youngest daughter’s 8th B’day. Our family ate out together for lunch, had a late afternoon swim party, and then went out for supper again as a a family — daughter’s choice. I can manage without the phone, but shutting down my computer was the most difficult part. It did keep me present with the family and friends versus retreating to my office/cave. Definitely considering making this a regular practice.

  4. Phil first off thanks for the suggestion to doing this. It was fun, I spent the first hour of the morning when I got up and letting my wife sleep in playing Princess with my daughter instead of messing around on the computer. This was just a blast! I ended up being three different “Princes” that came to try and wake her up. 

    Then later on in the day, I was happy to hear Pastor Gary and Drenda bring it up in service. I even did what I could to get others to do it also.

    But the biggest thing I think I got out of it was that I didn’t miss it like I thought I would. We were talking to some people after service and were discussing some dates. My wife and her friend pulled out phones to check the dates and I laughed because it was actually kind of freeing not to have it on me. It was actually nice that I am seriously considering doing that every Sunday just for a chance to decompress and not have to worry about things like that and just enjoy the time with my family.

    Thanks again for the challenge.

  5. I liked to disconnect, I have actually started to disconnect regularly the problem is reconnecting feels so overwhelming because I have to sort through so much clutter. It’s nice to just hang out and have face time without looking at my phone or having my wife do the same. It’s becoming a lost art. Thanks Phil!

  6. Disconnected on Father’s Day – My blog post about a GREAT Father’s Day:

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