The Struggle Unplugging

It’s so hard for me to unplug. I’ve just received new emails, the coffee is only half-finished, and my friends are just signing onto Facebook, liking my Instagram photo, and sharing a new viral video about two guinea pigs eating a blade of grass Lady-And-The-Tramp style…in slow motion. I can sign off at any moment, but the red notification numbers in the upper right corner have become a simple game of Whack-a-Mole, and the world’s population is awake in every time zone, which gives us a reason to stay plugged in.

Yikes. At some point, I must use my legs, stretch, look at something 20 feet away to adjust my eyes to avoid a headache, drink water to resupply the empty reservoir of my stomach that was so quickly drained by caffeine 5 hours ago when I signed onto my work email. Even though I work online in a mobile job, I sit all the time.

I’ve begun to realize how addicted to being plugged in that I’ve become. How is that possible? I moved into my van to escape the grid! Sure, a job that requires 3 hours a day online still requires wi-fi, a bathroom, and some focused productivity on the keyboard, but to a life that is largely alternative – that is to say, I’m living in a van with a job that has no fixed hours, so I could field a Skype meeting in the middle of a World Word II re-enactment event unbeknownst to the caller, and let the booming of canons and gun fire be background music to my follow-up emails – it’s not easy to escape the convenience of staying in the city: I can shower early mornings in the restroom of a Starbucks, work to 4pm, then park and read a book just a Justin’s Nut Butter jar’s throw of the nearest Whole Foods, in case I feel the urge to nip in for the salad bar.

Here’s some things I find useful for stepping away from the devices.

1: Work standing up. Most cafes, especially Starbucks, have counters and I’ve begun choosing to push aside one of the high chairs in favor of standing.

2: Use the 20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away, even just to break out of the tunnel vision one acquires from working on a computer long hours.

3: Snack all the veggies. Controversial foodie opinions aside, stuffing your face with red bell peppers, kale, spinach, carrots or a salad over the course of the work period keeps me healthy, and negates bonking and hunger.

4: Solar panels rock. I can park and work in my van, and even if you don’t live on the road in a Sprinter can like myself, charging from my dashboard is useful for my phone.

That’s all, just some thoughts on recent habit’s I’ve made consciously to keep myself in shape while I’m on the road for the Move Mountains Tour. Thanks Voltaic Systems for keeping me powered!